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Plastics firm fined after worker injury

A Liverpool plastics processing and reprocessing company has been fined after a worker suffered serious injuries when his arm was caught in a machine.

Centriforce Products was prosecuted at Liverpool Crown Court by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident in March last year.

HSE’s investigation found the company had failed to provide a suitable guard to prevent access to the rollers, the risk assessment was not suitable and sufficient, and the main isolation handle for the line was broken.

The company pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,230.

Worker David Flynn had been operating a plastics recycling line when he noticed a blockage in the cooling rollers. He opened the unsecured guards to remove a plastic strip and his arm was drawn into the rollers.

Flynn suffered extensive injuries and has been unable to return to work.

HSE inspector Sharon Butler said: “This incident was entirely preventable. It is essential to take effective measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery.

”As in this case, the outcome for ignoring these simple safety measures can result in life-changing injuries and a substantial fine.”

A spokesperson on behalf of the company’s directors said: “We deeply regret this incident occurred. The judge remarked on the significant changes that Centriforce has made to equipment, health and safety practices and structures, acknowledging that we have fully embraced our responsibilities.

“The directors have viewed the situation with the utmost concern and, as the judge also noted, have given our full co-operation to the investigation. We have invested significantly in health and safety during the past two years, and have a programme of continuous improvement in place to ensure high standards are maintained.”

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