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Absorbent products’ maker fined over agency worker’s unguarded machinery injury

A manufacturer of absorbent products must pay more than £35,000 after an agency worker sustained a life-changing injury to her hand when it was caught in a rotating fan blade.

The 34-year-old worker was on her second shift at the NPS Worldwide UK site in Oldham, Greater Manchester, when the incident happened on 18 October 2017.
Manchester Magistrates’ Court was told that the agency worker’s fingers became caught in an unguarded rotating fan as she was removing a blockage inside a filling machine she had been operating. 
She lost parts of all of her fingers on her right hand in the incident. The agency worker also sustained extensive scarring to her stomach after an unsuccessful attempt to generate new skin growth to save her fingers. She continues to experience post-traumatic stress as a result of the incident and the injuries sustained.
When the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated, it found the fan had not been properly guarded. NPS Worldwide UK had failed to carry out a suitable risk assessment and provide adequate information, instruction and training to workers. 
The HSE also found the company had failed to provide any first aid provision on the night shift when the incident happened and incorrect first aid was administered. 
NPS Worldwide UK, of Vulcan Business Park, Derker Street, Oldham, pleaded guilty to breaching ss 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and reg 3(2) of the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981. 
The company was fined £28,000 and must pay £7,771 in costs.


Nic Warburton is acting editor, IOSH Magazine

 Nick Warburton is acting editor of IOSH Magazine. He is a former editor of SHP and has also worked on Local Authority Waste and Recycling and Environmental Health Practitioner

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