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Spill control product specialist fined following incident which left worker scarred
Spill control product specialist NPS Worldwide UK has been fined after an agency worker suffered a life-changing injury to her hand when it was caught in a rotating fan blade.
Manchester Magistrates' Court heard how, in October 2017, the 34-year-old had been working her second shift at the company's Oldham site. While removing a blockage inside the filling machine she had been operating, her fingers became caught in an unguarded rotating fan. She lost parts of all of her fingers on her right hand, sustained extensive scarring to her stomach following an unsuccessful attempt to generate new skin growth to save her fingers, and continues to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the incident and the injuries sustained.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive found the fan had not been suitably guarded, putting employees and agency workers at risk. The company had failed to carry out a suitable risk assessment and provide adequate information, instruction and training to workers. No first aid provision was available on the night shift when the incident occurred, and this contributed to the injured person suffering further as incorrect first aid was administered.
NPS Worldwide UK pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 3(2) of the Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981. The company was fined £28,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,771.
HSE inspector Sharon Butler said after the hearing: "This injury could have easily been prevented and the risk should have been identified.
"Employers must make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery."
More information about machinery risks can be found at:
1st August 2019