Wednesday 29 January 2014

Workers hand drawn into in-running nip on printing press

Chevler, a Hengoed-based company was fined £13,843 (inc. costs) after an employee’s left hand was crushed when it was drawn into a two centimetre gap between the rollers of a printing machine.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred on a printing press
  • The printing press was unguarded, allowing workers to get too close to dangerous moving parts.
  • In particular, the drive rollers (blanket and impression cylinders?) had not been identified as a hazard and no safe system for cleaning them was in place.
  • Chevler Ltd had been aware for almost 18 months prior to the incident that a safe isolation procedure was required when cleaning the machine but failed to implement one.
  • The workers was injured when he tried to clean the press after he noticed the final product was developing streaks.
  • As he tried to clean dried ink from the rollers, his hand was drawn into the two-centimetre gap formed by the two counter-rotating drive rollers. The machine had to be reversed manually by another operator to free his hand.

The HSE Inspector said:
“This was a completely needless and entirely preventable incident that left  an employee with painful injuries and a long-term disability. The impact on his life has been quite profound. Employers have a clear duty to ensure the health and safety of their staff. The provision of safe systems of work, especially when maintaining or cleaning dangerous machinery is fundamental in this respect. By failing in their duties in this way, Chevler exposed their workers to the risk of injury. Sadly, it is not uncommon for employees in manufacturing industries to be injured when cleaning unguarded, operating machinery. HSE will prosecute companies where key safety procedures for operating and cleaning potentially dangerous machinery are not in place.”

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