The incident occurred in September 2012 when a 39-year old employee at Clondalkin’s facility on the Harvard Industrial Estate in Kimbolton, Huntingdon had two fingers crushed while trying to remove adhesive from a printing machine.
The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said an investigation prompted by the injury revealed that the machine in question and three others at the facility lacked inoperable interlocked guards.
According to the HSE despite having assessed the risks, the company did not identify this danger and instead relied on instructing operators to close the guards.
HSE Inspector Alison Ashworth said that: “Guards on machinery are there for a reason and they should be maintained in working order and checked for possible failures regularly.
“Had the guards been operational on the machine this worker used, he would not have had to suffer such a painful injury.”
The HSE prosecuted Clondalkin for a safety breach at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court where the firm pleaded pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
In addition to the fine, which was issued on May 28, the contract printing and packaging firm was ordered to pay costs of £1,890.
After the verdict Ashworth said: “This case highlights the need for employers to assess risks adequately. It is a well-known fact that unguarded printing machines can cause major injuries and Clondalkin should have known better than to let its workers use inadequately-guarded machinery.
He added that: “Instructing operators to close guards is not reliable enough, as this incident demonstrates.”
Clondalkin did not respond to a request for comment.
The injured worker made a full recovery.