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Paper firm fined £120,000 after worker injury

A Halifax paper mill company has been fined £120,000 for safety breaches after a worker suffered severe crush injuries to his right hand.

Bradford Crown Court heard that the incident occurred in September 2013 while the worker was changing a couch roll on a board machine at Sonoco Cores & Paper’s plant in Stainland.

The worker’s middle finger was severed in the machine and he required subsequent amputation of both his index and ring fingers. He is now registered as partly disabled.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £120,000 with £6,354 costs.

After the hearing, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Jackie Ferguson said: “The company failed to provide a safe system of work for changing couch rolls on a board machine.

“Their risk assessment for this type of work was not suitable or sufficient. It had identified the hazard yet it did not consider the likelihood or severity of the risk, and did not identify appropriate measures to prevent an uncontrolled fall of the machine’s hinged steel arm.”

Sonoco also operates the UK’s only beverage carton recycling operation at Stainland. The company has been contacted for comment.

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