20th Sep, 2021 Read time 1 minute

Rubber processing company penalised after worker injury

After a worker’s arm was entangled in machinery, a rubber processing firm was punished.


According to Tameside Magistrates Court, an employee of Marple Polymers Processors Limited was cleaning a stationary conveyor belt on a Banbury mixing machine on January 4, 2018. Another employee started the conveyor belt system without realising cleaning was going on. The original employee’s left arm caught between the conveyor belt and the tension idler, resulting in severe arm and hand injuries.

The company’s work method was determined to be harmful after an assessment by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found that it depended too heavily on effective communication between staff operating on the machine in a noisy and dark environment.

Marple Polymer Processors Limited, Stockport, was fined £20,000 and forced to pay £7,269.30 in costs for violating Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

According to HSE inspector Simon Bland, following the hearing, “This injury could have been prevented very easily” if a “strong, safe system of work” had been in place, which would have included, for example, the isolation of power to the machine while cleaning was being performed. Employers must correctly analyse the risks involved with the operation of machinery and implement effective control measures that employees understand and follow when operating, maintaining, and cleaning machinery.”

Editor’s Notes

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the national workplace health and safety authority in the United Kingdom. We prevent work-related death, injury, and illness through various regulatory activities, ranging from influencing behaviour across entire industrial sectors to targeted interventions on specific enterprises. These efforts are backed up by internationally recognised scientific knowledge. hse.gov.uk

More information regarding the legislation, in this case, maybe found at: legislation.gov.uk/ HSE news releases can be found at: http://press.hse.gov.uk

https://www.hse.gov.uk/rubber/introduction-to-rubber-processing.pdf contains additional information and guidance.

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