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Worker burned by shrink wrap machine

January 27 2016

A company which produces household cleaning products was fined £6,000 after an employee suffered serious burns when working on a shrink wrap machine.

The worker had removed the guard at the back to gain access in order to re-thread the film. The sealing bar triggered and came down on the worker’s hand, causing full thickness burns to the palm and wrist of his right hand.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation, following the accident in March 2015. The HSE investigation found that it was common practice for operators to remove a guard to allow for access while re-threading shrink wrap, which in turn allowed access to the sealing bar while the machine was still running.

HSE inspector, Edward Walker, said: “Companies need to review guarding standards to ensure that they are appropriate to protect employees, taking into account actual working practices and benchmark against relevant standards.”

Dri-Pak Limited, of Furnace Road, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) at Derby Magistrates’ Court.

The company was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,075.