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Firm fined after fingers trapped

PUBLISHED: 16:33 05 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:29 03 March 2010

A PLASTICS firm has been ordered to pay a total of £5,366 after a worker's fingers were trapped in heavy machinery which was not adequately guarded.

Grabor Plastics Ltd, of Sudbury, pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations by failing to prevent access to dangerous machinery.

A PLASTICS firm has been ordered to pay a total of £5,366 after a worker's fingers were trapped in heavy machinery which was not adequately guarded.

Grabor Plastics Ltd, of Sudbury, pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations by failing to prevent access to dangerous machinery.

Health and Safety prosecutor, Alexander Thompson, told Sudbury magistrates how an employee at the plastic bottle making factory, which employs 190 people, was left with serious tendon and nerve damage to the middle and ring finger of his right hand as a result of the accident.

He said that on June 21 last year, tool changer Richard Chadwick, who was 17 at the time, was working with a senior member of staff on a plastic moulding machine.

Mr Chadwick was instructed to stand by a conveyor belt and make sure the machine stayed clear. He noticed a bottle had become stuck in the machine and put in his hand to knock it free – but as he attempted to remove the stuck bottle, sliding machinery trapped his fingers.

Mr Chadwick left the company shortly after the accident and the company decommissioned the machine.

Health and Safety inspectors subsequently found that a fixed guard bolted in position on the machine was not adequate to prevent access into a dangerous part of the machinery.

Andrew Bryce, defending the company, said Grabor had purchased the machinery in good faith from another company and installed it into its plant in 2000. The company had made no changes to the guarding of the machine, believing it to be compliant with safety regulations.

He added the company had pleaded guilty to the offence on the earliest possible occasion and since the accident had reassessed guards on all its machinery. It had also re-trained relevant members of staff on safety procedures and put up 140 warning notices relating to machinery movements.

The company was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £1,366 in court costs.


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