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October 3, 2022

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Company fined after employee becomes drawn into machine

A manufacturer of paper and paperboard has been fined after an employee was injured when they were drawn into a large paper re-winding machine.

An employee of Amberset Limited based in Ashford, Kent, sustained injuries of three broken bones in their shoulder, bruising of the elbow and wrist and superficial damage to their head on 19 July 2021. The man then underwent surgery following the incident, where metal plates and pins were fitted in his shoulder and arm.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the paper rewinder was not suitably guarded and that this had been the case since August 1998. The rewinder allowed access to dangerous parts of machinery at various places including the front of the rewinder where the employee was drawn by their hand between two exposed rollers.

At Folkestone Magistrates Court on 21 September Amberset Limited pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 11(1)(a) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £2,197.65.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Peter Bruce said: “Employers should regularly review the safety measures on their plant and equipment to ensure that access to dangerous parts is prevented. The guidance on safe operation of paper rewinders is well established as is the law and guidance on guarding dangerous parts of machinery.

“Employees should be prevented from getting into a position where they can come into contact with dangerous parts of machinery.

“It is fortunate that the quick action of the employee’s colleagues in stopping the machine, ensured that they were not pulled further into the machine as their injuries could have been much worse if not fatal.”

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