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Liverpool rubber firm sentenced over burn injury

A Liverpool rubber manufacturer has been fined for safety failings after an employee seriously injured his hand when it became trapped in machinery.

Robert Devonport was left with a severe burn to his left hand and a crush injury to his thumb as a result of the incident at Ley Rubber Ltd.'s former site on Bridgewater Street on 6 December 2010.

The company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found there was no guarding on the machine to prevent employees' hands being trapped.

On 6 September, South Sefton Magistrates' Court was told that the 47-year-old, from Toxteth, was making adjustments to a machine while it was running on a timed cycle.

The machine was operating at temperatures of around 200 degrees Celsius to connect two pieces of rubber together when the metal clamps which hold the rubber moulds in place were released.

The top left clamp trapped Mr Devonport's left hand against the machine's control panel, causing his injuries. He was taken to the Royal Liverpool Hospital for treatment and needed nine months off work to recover.

Ley Rubber Ltd. pleaded guilty to a breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 by failing to carry out an assessment of the risks employees faced while using the machine.

The company, which has since moved to Knowsley Industrial Estate on Admin Road in Kirkby, was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £3,518 in prosecution costs.


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