A COMPANY which manufactures plastic bubble wrap for the packaging industry has been ordered to pay nearly £10,000 after a worker lost three fingers in an industrial accident.
Sansetsu ( UK) Ltd, based in Tilbrook, pleaded guilty at a hearing at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court on Friday to breaching health and safety regulations. The case followed an accident on May 18 last year when employee Daniel Winter’s hand became trapped in machinery.
The court heard Mr Winters, 29, of Leighton Buzzard, was cleaning debris from the machine when his right hand became trapped between two powered rollers.
The machine was still running and the plastic material inside had reached a temperature of more than 200 degrees.
As a result, he suffered severe injuries, including losing the majority of three fingers. He has since returned to work but in a much different capacity than before the injury.
An investigation, carried out by the Health and Safety Executive, found there was no guarding in place to prevent access to the dangerous parts of the machine and the company was issued with an Improvement Notice which has now been complied with.
The company has upgraded safety and all guards were now correctly in place. Speaking after the hearing, Karl Howes, HSE inspector, said: “Running nips are a common hazard in many industries and all machines should be guarded to prevent human contact with the dangerous parts.
“When machines are used with very hot plastics, these can be very dangerous.
“Employers using this sort of equipment need to make sure there is adequate guarding and if Sansetsu had taken the simple and inexpensive step of installing one, then this incident would never have happened.”
Sansetsu pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 (1) of Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
The firm was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £2,742 in costs.
> Founded in 1978, Sansetsu has manufacturing plants in France and Germany as well as the UK.