Chipboard manufacturer fined 25,000 following serious workplace accidents

Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association (SOHSA) on 2009-03-05 10:44:33

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning those responsible for the health and safety of workers not to neglect their duties following two serious incidents at a Hexham-based manufacturer. The incidents led to one man suffering serious crush injuries and another needing to have his leg amputated. Egger UK, the Hexham-based chipboard manufacturer was today (26 February) fined £25,400 and ordered to pay £11,881 in costs, after it pleaded guilty to six breaches of health and safety legislation. It was also ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge. The first incident took place on 18 May 2007, when a worker was crushed after a set of clamps which formed part of a chipping machine (Pessa machine) fell on top of him. The second incident occurred on 7 August 2007, when a worker became trapped in between a conveyor and processing machine. This caused severe injuries that resulted in his leg having to be amputated below the knee. HSE Inspector of Heath and Safety Bruno Porter, said: "A worker was clearing a blockage on the Pessa machine, which takes the lengths of trees and logs and chips them as the first part of the chipboard manufacturing process. While clearing the blockage, a set of heavy clamps dropped onto the worker resulting in serious crush injuries. "Just three months later, another worker became trapped in a different machine, which led to the worker having to have his leg amputated. "Employers must prevent or control risks to people’s health from equipment they use at work. An employer must ensure that appropriate risk assessments have been carried out, and that all work equipment is suitable for use. Any assessment and safe working practice must include safe isolation of all sources of energy, electrical and mechanical."

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