Saturday 28 September 2013

Missing safety guard causes major hand injury

Howard Hunts (City) Ltd., were fined £15,400 (inc. costs) after a hand injury due to an unguarded printing press.
The circumstances were:
  • Adequate risk assessments had not been carried out, which would have established a safe method of operating the press.
  • Training provision was inadequate, and the injured worker had received no training or instruction on the safety features of the press.
  • Guards should have been in place to prevent access to the dangerous parts of the roller system on the printing press while it was running, but these had been removed four days earlier for cleaning and had not been replaced.
  • In addition to the injured worker, seven other people had also operated the machine with the protective safety guards removed. All were therefore placed at unnecessary risk.
  • The injured worker was using a printer's knife when filling an ink reservoir that fed rollers transporting ink to printing plates.
  • The knife stuck as he was filling the ink reservoir and his right hand was pulled between two rotating rollers and 'de-gloved', with the skin ripped away from the back of his hand. 
  • He managed to stop the machine using an emergency stop button before pulling himself free and alerting colleagues.

The HSE Inspector  said:
"The painful injury the worker sustained could have been avoided had the guards been in place when the press was running. A proper risk assessment would have identified the requirement of a safe system of work, and the necessity of proper training on how to safely use the machine.  Incidents of this kind occur all too often in the printing industry, and the onus is on companies like Howard Hunt to take adequate steps to control risks and protect their workforce."

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