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Gloucestershire paper company fined for safety failings

The rollers which caused the workers injuriesA Gloucestershire paper producer has been fined after an employee's hand was crushed in an unguarded machine as he tried to clean it.

The 43 year-old worker received a serious crushing injury, cuts and bruising to his right hand when it was drawn between the rollers of a paper coating machine at Cotek Papers Ltd. in Moreton-in-Marsh on 2 April 2012. He was unable to return to work for two months.

On 21 January, Cheltenham Magistrates' Court heard that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established that the rollers had to be cleaned periodically, sometimes several times a day, when the coating material is changed.

In normal operation the five rollers are protected by fixed guards. However, these guards had to be removed for cleaning and it was found that this system of work was unsafe and exposed employees to unnecessary injury risk.

An alternative system to clean the rollers should have been provided to prevent access to dangerous moving parts.

Cotek Papers Ltd. of Draycott, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £1,483 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.


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