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Company fined £20,000 following worker’s crush injuries

December 17 2015

A company has been fined £20,000 after a worker suffered crush injuries from a machine.

Fiberweb Geosynthetics Limited, of Blackwater Trading Estate, Maldon, Essex, pleaded guilty to offences under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court.

On May 12, 2014 a worker was unblocking plastic film in an extrusion line which was jamming the production run, the court heard.

As the worker attempted to flip the product over the roller, his left hand was drawn into the moving rollers causing severe lacerations and crush injuries.

As he struggled to prevent himself being drawn into the mechanism, his right hand was also caught by the roller and his middle fingernail was ripped out.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was no safe system of work in place for clearing product jams, and that the machine had no means of isolating its dangerous parts.

The company failed to take any action, despite previous action against a different legal entity of the firm involving the same machine and a later risk assessment identifying the persistent risks with it.

Fiberweb Geosynthetics Limited was fined a total of £20,000 with costs of £539.