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Companies fined after worker injuries

By Joe Whitworth , 17-Dec-2012

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has fined a paper and board manufacturer and a plastics company after two separate worker accidents.

SAICA Pack UK was fined £13,000 after contracting out work to remove redundant machinery and equipment from one of its premises with an incident resulting in a worker suffering head injuries.

Tenza Tecnologies was fined £4,000 after a worker caught his left hand between two rollers as he was cleaning a machine.

SAICA charge

SAICA Pack UK, a division of SAICA, headquartered in Zaragoza, Spain manufactures a variety of corrugated packaging.

An investigation by the HSE found that SAICA Pack UK, of Darlington, had failed to ensure work was carried out by competent people, its control of contractors was inadequate and also ordered the firm to pay £5,489.40 in costs after entering its guilty plea.

SAICA Pack UK had contracted MD Engineering Services (UK) to remove machinery and equipment when the incident happened on 15 December 2010. 

Jim McGowan was working to remove a piece of equipment from a mezzanine platform and had bent over ready to hook a lifting sling onto the fork of the forklift truck at the site in Queensway, Hartlepool.

As the forks were raised, the right hand fork became caught on the stop bracket of the gate to the mezzanine.

McGowan was unaware and continued to raise the forks. The force was great enough to shear the bracket, releasing the fork which sprung upwards striking him on the forehead.

He suffered a double fracture to the skull, facial fractures and a fractured eye socket.

HSE Inspector Victoria Wise added: "Both companies failed in their duty of care to Mr McGowan and as a result he suffered serious head injuries.

"It clearly illustrates the importance of ensuring that lifting operations are properly planned and managed by a competent person."

Tenza Technologies fined

Tenza Technologies, of Carlton Park Industrial Estate, Saxmundham, Suffolk, was ordered to pay £3,613 in costs for after admitting the charge.

The firm supplies stand up pouches to the fresh food, dairy, liquid beverage and snacks and confectionery markets.

Robert Waters was injured when he caught his left hand between two rollers while cleaning the machine at on 12 October 2011.

The HSE investigation found the standard of guarding on the printing machine was poor and wasn't fit for purpose.

It was also poorly maintained, while a risk assessment, training, instruction and supervision at the company were also deemed inadequate.

HSE inspector Ivan Brooke said: "The incident could have been prevented and a painful hand injury avoided, had Tenza Technologies had more robust systems in place to check the guarding was effective and properly maintained.

"It is essential that all control measures are routinely monitored and assessed to ensure they are fit for purpose.”

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