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February 1, 2017

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Packaging manufacturer in court over workplace injury

A West Bromwich supplier of corrugated packaging has been fined after a maintenance employee was injured when he was pulled into machinery.

The injured person was repairing a cardboard printing, slotting and forming machine at Diamond Box Ltd’s Shaw Street plant when he put his foot onto an exposed conveyor and was dragged into the machine’s moving parts.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard that the packaging company allowed uncontrolled maintenance work to take place without any assessment of the risks posed by maintenance activities or having procedures in place for safe maintenance.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the machinery had a ‘jog mode’ which could have been set up to enable such maintenance work to be carried out safely, but the company had not identified this, trained staff to use it or enforced its use.

Diamond Box Ltd of Unit 4, Shaw St, Hill Top Industrial Estate, West Bromwich pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £400,000 with £9886.04 costs.

Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Caroline Lane said: “The company relied on the experience of maintenance employees rather than controlling risks through careful assessment and putting safe systems of work in place.

In summing up, his Honour Judge Berlin considered the maintenance practices used by Diamond Box to be ‘utterly dangerous’ and the risk to workers was wholly avoidable”.

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