Bury firm sentenced after woman’s fingers severed

A worker in a factory, manufacturing lids for food containers, had four fingers severed in a lid-punching machine that had been modified by her employers.

Chadwicks of Bury Ltd, which produces lids for yogurt pots, ice cream cartons and other food containers, was prosecuted by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at the company’s Villiers Street factory on 15 May 2008.

The 51-year-old worker, who has asked not to be named, was rethreading silver paper through the machine when the cutting tool restarted, severing four fingers on her right hand.

The HSE investigation found the company had covered the sensors on the machine so it could be used to cut paper instead of foil lids. The sensors would have stopped the machine operating when paper was being rethreaded through the cutting tool, if they had not been disabled.

Chadwicks of Bury pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 by failing to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery. The company was fined £22,500 with £8,708 costs at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court today. http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2010/coi-nw-65chadwicks.htm

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