Injury Compensation News

Injury Sustained at Food Packaging Factory Results in Fine for Company

April 4, 2015

A fine of £10,000 has been issued to a company situated in Gateshead after a staff member was injured at the factory.

The employee, who has remained anonymous, was injured on 22nd of November 2013 as they were preparing packaging in the Integrated Packaging Ltd facility in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. The trainee was endeavouring to switch two belts of the cutting machine as it was in operation.

The thirty-year-old employee’s finger got caught in the machine between the feed belt and the drive roller. The incident caused the man to lose the upper part of the index finger on his right hand. The employee was taken to hospital, where operations were carried out on his hand. Despite returning to work two months after the incident, the employee reportedly still experiences difficulty with fine motor movements.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation of the incident, noting that there was no guard to ensure digits did not get caught in the gap between the drive roller and feed belt. The employee was also not informed of other safety procedures regarding the size of the carton material he was working on, and that the machine should have been turned off before the belt-switching procedure was carried out.

Integrated Packing Ltd had already received a notice in 2007 when inspectors found that they failed to adequately train employees regarding safe use of the machines. In 2009, a comparable incident saw that the company was prosecuted after inspectors found that there was no guard to prevent injury in a cutting machine similar to the one being investigated in the current case.

Integrated Packing Ltd plead guilty to the charges brought against them for breaching the terms of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 regarding the lack of proper instruction, information and supervised training of its employees. The Gateshead Magistrates Court fines the company £10,000, in addition to costs, for their negligence in the accident.

A inspector for the HSE, Natalie Wright, has stated that the incident could have been prevented if the company had taken reasonable measures to ensure the safety of its employees using the machine.

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