A packaging company has been fined after a worker lost three fingers in a cutting machine.

The employee was cleaning the hot blade of a machine used to cut plastic sheets when the blade lowered without warning.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to both:

  • identify the risk of the blade lowering without warning
  • take steps to remove that risk

Known risk

Investigators also learned the risk was a machine issue known to many employees beforehand.

Fusion Flexibles Limited (formerly CPS Flexible Limited) pleaded guilty to breaking the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

It was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,825.

Below the required standards

The HSE said the incident could easily have been avoided if measures had been taken to prevent the risk of the blade falling without warning.

They emphasise employers should be aware it will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those falling ‘below the required standards’.

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