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August 16, 2021

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Manufacturing firms fined for inadequate guards on machinery

Two sister companies based in Grantham, Lincolnshire that manufacture cardboard items, and a company that manufactures flat-bed die cutting (FBDC) machines have all been sentenced after a worker sustained serious injuries to his left hand.

Postpack Limited and Damasco UK Limited of Hollis Road Grantham, manufacture cardboard items including packaging materials, flat pack boxes and toys. Lincolnshire Magistrates’ Court was told that they purchased five FBDC machines from DIG Corrugated Machinery Ltd of Cullen Place, Eastlands Industrial Estate, Leiston. A worker using one of the supplied machines caught his hand under the rotating main roller and the fingers and thumb of his left hand were crushed, leading to their amputation.

The HSE’s investigation found that the machine was supplied with inadequate guards to prevent access to its dangerous parts. Following the incident and service of Improvement Notices the guards were extended.

Postpack Limited and Damasco UK Limited pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The companies were fined £4000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,152 with a victim surcharge of £340.

DIG Corrugated Machinery Limited pleaded guilty to breaching the duty under Section 6(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work  Act 1974. The company was fined £6500 and ordered to pay costs of £3529.20 with a victim surcharge of £170.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Martin Giles commented: “Those supplying machinery have a duty to ensure that it is safe. Purchasers and users of machinery must assess the equipment that they purchase and ensure that it is adequately guarded and that they have appropriate safe systems of work in place.

“If the flat-bed die cutter had been adequately guarded, then the life changing injuries sustained by the employee could have easily been prevented.”

Click here for HSE’s guidance to help companies assess the safety of machines.

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