Friday 29 November 2013

Lack of guarding causes loss of two fingers

Sofidel UK Ltd, one of Europe’s largest tissue and paper towel manufacturers based in Leicester, has been fined after a worker had to have the tips of two fingers amputated after trapping them in badly-guarded machinery while trying to clear a blockage.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred on a paper converting machine on 26 September 2012.
  • There was no fixed guarding for the belt and pulley drive of the conveyor to prevent access to moving parts of the machine.
  • The injured  worker placed his hand inside the converting machine to try and remove the tissue blockage on the belt and pulley drive of the conveyor.
  • His hand was trapped and the tips of two fingers on his left hand were so badly injured they had to be amputated.

Sofidel UK Ltd  was fined £2,712 (inc. costs.)
The HSE inspector said:
“This incident highlights the dangers posed by machinery and the need to fully re-assess risks from machinery when it is moved from one site to another. Sofidel UK Ltd failed to provide suitable guarding and did not take effective measures to prevent access by their workers to the dangerous moving parts. Workers should not be injured trying to fix a problem. Having an effective guard on this part of the machine would have prevented this employee from suffering nasty injuries to his hand.”

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