November 16, 2017

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In court

£50k fine after worker’s fingers are severed

A worker needed immediate amputation after his fingers were severed in an unguarded printing press.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how Brown Brothers Group Limited’s employees and contractors had been exposed to risk through operation of the printing press without suitable guarding being in place.

On 23 November 2016, Paul Carlton’s hand got caught when working with the press at the company’s site on Interchange Motorway Industrial Estate, Knowsley. He suffered immediate amputation to his little and ring finger and damage to his middle and index finger on his right hand.

Lack of suitable guards

The Health and Safety Executive’s investigation into the incident found Brown Brothers Group Limited, who supply and cut paper and film for the floristry industry, had failed to ensure that the printing machine had been suitably guarded to prevent access to the dangerous parts, including the gears that caused Paul Carlton’s injuries.

The company also failed to provide those operating the press with suitable and sufficient training. Further inspection revealed that guarding deficiencies were also identified in relation to other printing machinery used in the premises.

Brown Brothers Group Limited of Interchange Motorway Industrial Estate, Wilson Street, Liverpool pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) and Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £5,635 costs.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector Helen Jones said: “Mr Carlton’s injuries could have easily been prevented. Employers should make sure they properly identify the risks and put in place effective control measures, such as making sure machinery is adequately guarded, to prevent access to dangerous parts.”

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