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£100k fine for manufacturer of plastic tubing after worker was seriously injured

Emtelle UK Limited, a manufacturer of plastic tubing and blown fibre tubing for telecoms and water piping, has been fined after an employee suffered serious injuries to his left hand when it came into contact with the exposed clamp of a socket machine.

Jedburgh Sheriff Court heard how an employee was working on a socket machine, building a pipe into a socket, at their site at Oxnam Road, Jedburgh, Roxburghshire. He was placing a pipe into a socket when the shorter length of pipe fell out, the worker reached to catch the pipe to prevent it being clamped and his left hand came into contact with the exposed clamp causing serious injury.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had carried out a risk assessment in 2006 for the socket machine, however this did not cover working with shorter length pipes and did not identify a risk from entrapment. It was noted that the socket machine had no guard in place, with the result that the clamping mechanism was exposed.

Emtelle UK Limited, Haughhead, Hawick, Roxburghshire pleaded guilty to Regulations 11(1) and (2) of the Provision and Use of work Equipment Regulations 1998 and were fined £100,000.