Failure to have suitable risk assessments in place results in life changing injury

Published: 9 Nov 2016

Failure to provide a suitable risk assessment and safe system of work has resulted in an employee sustaining life changing injuries. Jiffy Packaging Company Limited was found guilty in the Liverpool Crown Court for health and safety offences.

The court heard how the employee had his thumb severed after getting caught in the unguarded section in the frame of one of the machines to clean ink from a roller. The injuries sustained resulted in the worker having to receive skin grafts in hospital and missing work for 15 weeks.

It has been reported that although the company had partially guarded the rollers and cogs of the machine with an interlocked guard, they failed to take adequate measures to prevent access to all dangerous parts of machinery.

Jiffy Packaging Company Ltd, of Road Four, Winsford, Cheshire was found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at work etc Act 1974 and was fined £70,000 with full costs of £53,509.

During the investigation, the HSE found the company’s risk assessment had been written nine years earlier by an employee untrained in creating risk assessments. The assessment did not identify risks related to unguarded machinery or any control measures. The court heard the company had previously been served with several HSE Improvement Notices highlighting machinery guarding issues.

This unfortunate injury could easily have been avoided if a site specific risk assessment and safe system of work had been put in place by a competently trained person. This case highlights the need for identifying health and safety hazards and putting the necessary control measures and precautions in place when using dangerous machinery.

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