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Following an incident at a workplace in West Cheshire, a cardboard manufacturer has incurred a fine. An employee of Prowell Ltd, who wanted to remain anonymous, had their arm broken and their hand crushed as a consequence of the firm’s misuse of a second-hand piece of machinery.

The accident occurred during April 2012, but inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the problem had arisen from an installation decision made by the Ellesmere Port organisation back at the beginning of 2009. The company had to pay £4,000 for its mistake and costs in excess of £7,000.

The Magistrates’ Court in Chester was informed that no risk assessment had been carried out in relation to a baling machine. The workers were obliged to remove waste although the machine was going.

Lisa Bailey of the HSE stated:

“Prowell allowed the baler to operate for over three years without being properly guarded, which ultimately led to a worker being badly injured. It should have carefully considered the consequences of removing the control panel and power pack when the machine was first installed at the factory, and assessed the risks to workers.”

Bailey confirmed that the incident could have been avoided if proper measures were introduced to allow workers to use the baling machine safely. Manufacturing can be a dangerous sector; 20 individuals were killed last year and many more were injured. It is important that the right workwear is provided and that people are able to use machinery without being put at risk.

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