DS Smith fined £50,000, ordered to pay costs of £8,244 by U.K.'s Health and Safety Executive for employee, machine-related injury at its paper packaging factory in Louth, England, on June 9, 2010

BOOTLE, England , March 5, 2012 (press release) – An international supplier of paper and packaging has been fined after an employee suffered breaks to his arm and ribs in machinery at a Lincolnshire factory.

The 27-year-old man, who does not wish to be named, was being trained to use a re-winder - a rotating spool that winds corrugated cardboard packaging into a roll - at DS Smith Packaging's plant at Windsor Road, Louth, when the incident happened on 9 June 2010.

A second member of staff was showing the employee how to attach the cardboard to the spool when his fingers became trapped. The second man, unaware of what had happened, then started the machine which threw the employee over the top.

He broke his right arm in several places and fractured his ribs. He was off work for a year and now has pins and plates in his arm. He has since returned to work for the company.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found there was no safe system of work in place and the incident could have been easily prevented.

DS Smith Packaging Ltd, of Lower Cookham Road, Maidenhead, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Today, Skegness magistrates fined the firm £50,000 and ordered it to pay costs of £8,244.

After the hearing HSE inspector Emma Madeley said:

"There was nothing to prevent the machine being started before people were clear of the danger zone. Having a second operator created a serious risk because the man operating the controls had no idea that his colleague was trapped.

"That working practice has now been changed. The company has also installed a guard so that the machine cannot begin rotating at speed if someone's hands are in the danger area. Unfortunately these measures have come too late for this employee who has been left with severe and permanent injuries."

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