Updated Sep 3, 2020

Manufacturer fined after employee fatally crushed

Scapa UK Limited, which manufactures adhesive tape, was fined over £135,000 after an employee was fatally injured when operating a rewind slitting machine.

On 10 April 2018, the employee was operating a machine which was designed to cut a large roll of adhesive material into narrower rolls. While operating, he was drawn into an in-running nip between a rotating roller and the adhesive material, resulting in him being trapped in the machine and suffering fatal crush injuries.

During an investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it was found that the employee was required to work in close proximity to an unguarded in-running nip whilst the rewind slitting machine was in operation, which presented a hazard due to rotating parts. HSE found that the risk assessment for work with the machine failed to properly identify hazards when working near the machine, which resulted in operators not being provided with adequate information and training in relation to the risks the machine presented, placing them in severe risk of injury.

The company has been previously warned of the risks by the HSE and an external safety consultant in 2012 in relation to the guarding of the machine, but the company failed to take action to ensure necessary guarding and assessing the risks when working with the slitting machine prior to the fatal incident.

Scapa UK Limited pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,192.68.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Emma Page said: "This tragic incident could easily have been prevented if the company had properly assessed and applied effective control measures to minimise the risks from dangerous parts of the machinery.

"The dangers associated with in-running nips are well known, and a wealth of advice and guidance is freely available from HSE and other organisations.

"Employers should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards."

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