Welsh Worker Suffers Hand Injuries After 'Safety Failings'

An Experienced Printer From Merthyr Tydfil Was Injured In An Industrial Accident


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

A company based in Hengoed has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an industrial accident.

Cwmbran Magistrates' Court was told that an unnamed 55-year-old worker needed two operations and has since suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as severe depression, because of the incident.

The anonymous staff member was conducting his normal duties at Chevler Limited when, as he reached into a machine, his hand was drawn into a two centimetre gap and crushed.

After being informed of the incident, the HSE launched an investigation and found the machine in question was not guarded and allowed personnel to get too close to moving parts.

Drive rollers in particular, Cwmbran Magistrates' Court heard, were not identified as a risk - despite the fact that HSE literature regularly points out this is a substantial threat to the wellbeing of printing workers.

For its part in the staff member's injury, Chevler Limited was fined £8,000. Although this fine is relatively low considering the effect the incident had on the anonymous man's life, because the firm is not a repeat offender the HSE could not impose heavy penalties.

However, bosses from the firm were also told to pay £5,843 in prosecution costs after they pleaded guilty to a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the hearing had concluded, HSE inspector Gethyn Jones said: "This was a completely needless and entirely preventable incident that left an employee with painful injuries and a long-term disability. The impact on his life has been quite profound.

"Employers have a clear duty to ensure the health and safety of their staff. The provision of safe systems of work, especially when maintaining or cleaning dangerous machinery is fundamental in this respect."

Mr Jones added these types of incidents are not uncommon and that the HSE will continue to prosecute firms with lax guarding procedures.