Informa Markets

Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
September 29, 2022

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

in court

Company fined after worker injured by cleaning machinery

A company specialising in the manufacture of stabilisers and additives used in plastic products has been fined £200,000 after an employee suffered serious hand injuries while cleaning machinery.

An employee of Mexichem Specialty Compounds Limited was cleaning the manufacturing line at their site in Chinley, Derbyshire when he was injured on 21 February 2019. Tonne bags are loaded into a hopper on the line and passed through a rotary valve into final product bags.

The man was attempting to clean a rotary valve, standing with one foot on the machinery framework and the other on a ladder, when he slipped.

As he tried to steady himself, his right hand went into the unguarded rotary valve resulting in a severed fingertip and lacerations to his hand.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company did not have a suitable and sufficient risk assessment or safe system of work in place for cleaning the bagging line.

Operators were also not provided with appropriate information, instruction, and training on how the line should be cleaned. The rotary valve was not guarded and there was no isolation procedure in place for when cleaning was taking place.

The system of work in place at the time of the incident involved working at height, this had not been properly planned.

Mexichem Specialty Compounds Limited, of Beler Way, Melton Mowbray, pleaded guilty to contravening Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,846.78 at Derby Magistrates Court on 6 September 2022.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Lindsay Bentley said: “All operations and tasks, including cleaning, should be risk assessed. A safe system of work should have been produced and communicated to all operators.

“There is plenty of guidance available on the HSE website to help companies implement good health and safety arrangements to prevent such incidents.”

The Safety Conversation Podcast: Listen now!

The Safety Conversation with SHP (previously the Safety and Health Podcast) aims to bring you the latest news, insights and legislation updates in the form of interviews, discussions and panel debates from leading figures within the profession.

Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts, subscribe and join the conversation today!

Related Topics

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments