Hand crushed in accident at work

A company has been fined £12,000 after a 16-year-old boy’s hand became trapped in a printing machine crushing two fingers and breaking another.

The unnamed teenager, who was employed by East Lancashire Box Company of Spring Mill, Rishton, Lancashire, had been cleaning the machine at the time of the workplace accident on 28 March 2008.

He was using a cloth wrapped around his hand to wipe a slow-moving roller when it got caught in the machine dragging his hand in. The 16-year old-was employed as a factory worker with the specific task of folding and breaking out cardboard boxes, but when he completed these tasks the teenager was told to help with tidying up.

Hyndburn Magistrates’ Court heard there were no safe operating procedures in place for any of the machines and the procedure used to clean the printer roller posed a risk to their employees’ safety. The company pleaded guilty to three charges under health and safety legislation, including failing to ensure the health of an employee, failing to make a risk assessment and employing a child in an industrial undertaking. It was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £3,451 costs.

It is understood that the boy is seeking workplace injury compensation from the company. His solicitor said: “Sadly, this is yet another work accident where a young worker has sustained injuries which will have a lifelong effect. Young workers are at greater risk of suffering an industrial accident as they have less experience than older colleagues. It is therefore essential that young workers are provided with suitable and adequate training and that employers ensure they comply with the law.”


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