Mailing machine injury ends with prosecution

Stevenage Magistrates’ Court ordered Ampac Security Products Limited to pay a total of £10,000 in fines with £2,328 in costs after the company accepted that they had breached the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

A 20-year-old employee’s arm was pulled between a roller and belt on a poorly guarded mailing machine, resulting in the injured man requiring metal plates and screws inserted into his arm. At the time of the injury, he was trying to clean a moving belt on the machine, which turns rolls of plastic into sealable bags for mailing purposes.

HSE investigators reported that the employer had already identified the risk of entanglement but had not applied guarding to the area where the worker’s arm was drawn in. In addition to the lack of guarding, there had been no training given to the injured man on how he was supposed to clean excess glue from the underside of belts at this machine. The method he used was not normal practice for this equipment and that could have been made clear by giving adequate instructions.

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