ERJ staff report (LMH)
Liverpool, UK -- A Liverpool rubber manufacturer has been fined for safety failings after an employee seriously injured his hand when it became trapped in machinery.
Robert Devonport was left with a severe burn to his left hand and a crush injury to his thumb as a result of the incident at Ley Rubber Ltd's former site on Bridgewater Street, Liverpool, on 6 December 2010, according to a 6 Sept news release from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The company was prosecuted by the HSE after an investigation found there was no guarding on the machine to prevent employees' hands being trapped.
South Sefton Magistrates' Court was told 6 Sept that Devonport was making adjustments to a machine while it was running on a timed cycle. The machine was operating at temperatures of around 200 degrees Celsius to connect two pieces of rubber together when the metal clamps which hold the rubber moulds in place were released. The top left clamp trapped Devonport's left hand against the machine's control panel, causing his injuries. He was taken to the Royal Liverpool Hospital for treatment and needed nine months off work to recover.
Ley Rubber Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 by failing to carry out an assessment of the risks employees faced while using the machine.
The company, which has since moved to Knowsley Industrial Estate on Admin Road in Kirkby, was fined Â£15 000 and ordered to pay Â£3518 in prosecution costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Phil Redman said: "Robert Devonport still has difficulty using his left hand nearly two years on from the incident. If Ley Rubber had carried out a proper assessment of the risks its employees faced then it would have been able to indentify the need for guards to be installed on the machine.â€
He added, "The firm was able to fit suitable guards just two days after we visited the site, but if they had been in place at the time of the incident then it could have been avoided altogether."
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Press release from HSE