Europlast (Blackburn) Limited pleaded guilty at Preston Magistrates Court to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 4(1) of the Reporting of Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013, SI2013/1471 that an employee’s hand became trapped in between rollers whilst he was trying to clean a bubble wrap machine. This resulted in four of his fingers being severed.
It was found that the accident had not been reported for 9 months which delayed the investigation and put other employees at risk. It was noted that arrangements for cleaning the machine were unsafe as operators carried this out whilst the machine was running.
The Health and Safety Executive had previously prosecuted the Company in 2012 for serious hand injuries sustained on a similar machine at the premises. This accident could have been prevented if the packaging company had learnt their lessons from previous incidents.