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A manufacturing enterprise based in County Durham has been prosecuted and fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after one of its workers was severely burned by a stream of molten plastic.

The incident, which took place in September last year, happened when John Calcutt cleared solid plastic from one of Ebac Ltd's plastic mould machines. He was directly hit by a stream of hot liquefied plastic.

By not wearing any personal protective equipment (PPE), Calcutt received burns all over his left arm and hand. He also sustained serious burns to his face. Calcutt had to be air-lifted to hospital, where he remained for several days.

Darlington Magistrates’ Court heard that no training for clearing the machine had been given to Calcutt, nor was he wearing any form of head protection such as safety goggles. The court was also told that nobody involved in the operation to remove the blockage was wearing any form of PPE.

Additionally, the HSE advised the court that its investigation had found a failure by Ebac to conduct an assessment of potential risks, and had no procedures in place for PPE to be given to any staff.

The firm was handed a fine of £7,500 after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety laws, as well as being told to pay £770.10 in court costs. Ebac was also mandated to pay £750 in Victim Surcharge.

Following the court hearing, the HSE said that the incident could have been easily prevented.

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