Monday 28 October 2013

Cardboard manufacturer fined after accident due to poor guarding

Prowell Ltd., a corrugated cardboard manufacturer has been fined over £10,000 (inc. costs) after an employee’s arm was dragged into unguarded machinery at a factory in Ellesmere Port.
The circumstances were:
  • The company had installed the second-hand baler at the factory early in 2009 
  • They had relocated the control panel and hydraulic power pack to the outside of an enclosure around the machine to reduce the risk of fire.
  • This created an unguarded gap on the machine itself.
  • The firm failed to carry out a risk assessment on the use of the baler, despite employees being asked to clear out waste cardboard and dust inside the enclosure on a daily basis while the machine was still running.
  • A worker was cleaning the baling machine when his right hand became caught, causing crush injuries to his hand and breaking his arm

The HSE Inspector said:
“Prowell allowed the baler to operate for over three years without being properly guarded, which ultimately led to a worker being badly injured. It should have carefully considered the consequences of removing the control panel and power pack when the machine was first installed at the factory, and assessed the risks to workers. The company fitted a temporary mesh guard following the incident and has since installed a permanent fixed and interlocked guard. If these measures had been in place at the time of the incident then the employee’s injuries could have been avoided.”

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