The food packaging firm Chevler Ltd has been fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £5,843 in 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 55-year-old worker, an experienced printer from Merthyr Tydfil, needed two operations on his severely injured hand and has since suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
The incident, in August 2012, was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the company charged with serious safety breaches.
Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court heard today that HSE found the printing machine was unguarded, allowing workers to get too close to dangerous moving parts. In particular, the drive rollers had not been identified as a hazard and no safe system for cleaning them was in place.
In addition, the Hengoed-based company 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.
Magistrates were told the worker, who does not wish to be identified, was injured when he tried to clean the printer at the factory 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.
Copyright Ken Hurst 2014