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September 27, 2021

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in court

Company sentenced for failings that led to injury

A company has pleaded guilty for failing to have effective measures in place to prevent access to a dangerous part of machinery.

A 57-year-old man was carrying out maintenance on a printing machine at United Closures and Plastics Limited, now known as Guala Closures UCP Limited, in Bridge of Allan on 14 October 2017 when he got his finger caught between two rollers.

As a result, the engineer’s index finger was severely injured with cuts and a fracture. He has been left with limited sensation and movement in his finger.

On 7 July 2021 at Falkirk Sheriff Court the company pled guilty to failing to have effective measures in place to prevent access to a dangerous part of machinery. They were fined £20,000.

The engineer was trying to soften hardened ink in a print machine, used to print bottle tops, and had removed the safety guards. He left the rollers running while he carried out other jobs.

When he returned, it appeared the rollers were no longer running and he went to check the texture of the ink. As he leant over, the rollers started moving again and his finger was pulled in. A colleague used the emergency button to stop the machine as the engineer managed to free his finger.

After seven weeks off work, the man returned to work with the company.

United Closures and Plastics Limited had a risk assessment in place but did not provide enough information, instruction, training and supervision. They have since made a number of changes to the way the machinery operates.

Alistair Duncan, head of the Health and Safety Investigation Unit, said: “This accident could have been avoided if the appropriate measures had been in place at the time. “By failing to provide the appropriate training, United Closures and Plastics Limited left their employees in unacceptable risk.

“This prosecution should remind other employers that failing to keep their employees safe can have serious consequences and they will be held accountable for this failure.”

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