Paper mill fined after worker left with disabling crush injuries

The injured worker, who wished to remain anonymous, sustained serious crush injuries in September 2013 while changing a couch roll, a type of paper roll used in the beauty industry for salon treatments, on a board machine at Sonoco Cores & Paper Ltd’s Halifax plant. The worker’s middle finger was severed in the machine and he required subsequent amputation of his index and ring fingers. He is now registered as partly disabled.

Sonoco Cores & Paper Ltd of Stainland, Halifax pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £120,000.00 with £6,354.00 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. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate action against those that fall below the required standards.”

Assurity Consulting are leading experts in workplace health, safety and environmental compliance. For more information on the services we provide and how we can help you, please contact us on tel. +44 (0)1403 269375 or email us