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Firm fined £120k after employee fatally crushed, despite previous safety warnings

A company, which manufactures adhesive tape, has been fined after a worker was fatally injured while operating a rewind slitting machine.

Luton Magistrates Court heard how, Mr Brett Dolby was operating the machine, designed to cut a large roll of adhesive material into narrower rolls, when he was drawn into an in-running nip between a rotating roller and the adhesive material. Mr Dolby’s colleagues found him trapped in the machine at the factory in Dunstable, having suffered fatal crush injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Dolby was required to work close to an unguarded in-running nip whilst the rewind slitting machine was in operation, which presented a hazard due to rotating parts. The risk assessment for the machine was inadequate because it failed to identify the in-running nips and other hazards on the machine. Therefore, machine operators were provided with inadequate information and training relating to the risks associated with this operation; and employees were placed at severe risk of injury.

The company previously received advice in 2012 from both HSE and an external consultant in relation to the guarding of machinery on site, but had failed to take action to ensure the necessary guarding of the rewind slitting machine prior to the incident in April 2018.

Scapa UK Limited of Ashton Under Lyne, Manchester, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £15,192.68.