Paulamar Company fined over worker injuries

A manufacturer of foam plastics and rubber materials was sentenced today after admitting safety failing leading to a teenage worker being permanently disfigured. 

Glasgow Sheriff Court was told that on 28 January 2013 at the firm’s business premises at Woodilee Industrial Estate, Kirkintilloch, a teenage employee was seriously injured while using an adhesive backing machine that had no safety guarding on it.

On the day of the incident the 19-year-old worker was feeding flat foam sheets into the adhesive machine, but one curled up before it reached the rollers. The injured worker used his right hand to flatten the sheet but it stuck to the adhesive and was taken into the rollers.

The stop bar on the machine was hit and another employee manually moved the rollers up off his hand.   He was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary where doctors found he had suffered a broken knuckle on his middle finger and a broken index finger on his right hand, had deep lacerations to the palm of his hand with swelling and bruising to the back of his hand. He has been left with two visible scars and a burn mark on the back of his right hand and was off work for six months.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and found the young worker’s right hand was pulled into the machine as the company had failed to ensure the machine had the necessary guards fitted that would have prevented the accident from taking place.

Paulamar Company Ltd, registered at Citypoint, Tyndrum Street, Glasgow pleaded guilty to breaching Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, Regulations 11(1) and (2) and the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Section 33(1) (c). It was fined £12,000. 

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