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A soft toy filling company has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker suffered life changing injuries.

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard the worker lost his left hand as a consequence of being drawn into an unguarded carding machine on 8 March 2016. The injured worker was attempting to clear a blockage in a carding machine. The carding machine had a flange attachment for connecting pipework to the machine at the discharge chute in order to supply loose fibre to a single toy filling machine. However, the flange and pipework were left off to allow the carding machine to discharge into a wooden enclosure to supply three toy filling machines with loose fibre. Consequently, a spiked roller located inside the discharge chute was unguarded and accessible during operation.

The worker affected had entered the wooden enclosure and was clearing loose fibre from the discharge chute to free a blockage in the machine. The spiked discharge roller was still rotating and grabbed his left hand, drawing him into the machine and severing most of his fingers. The worker was airlifted to hospital where surgeons amputated his hand from the wrist due to the seriousness of his injuries.

The Stuffing Plant Ltd (TSP) of Whitelea Grove Industrial Estate, Mexborough pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £35,000 with £2486 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Eddy Tarn commented: “This man’s life changing injuries could have been prevented if a suitable and sufficient planning had been completed and the correct control measures were identified and implemented. The consequences of leaving off the flange and discharge pipework were foreseeable and could have easily been prevented.”

Source – HSE

HSCS Scotland Promoting a Healthier Workplace Through Safety
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