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Employee's arm crushed by bottle filling machine

14 December 2020

CHEMICAL COMPANY, Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare (UK) Ltd (Reckitt Benckiser Ltd), was fined for safety breaches after a worker had his left arm crushed in a bottle filling machine.

Grimsby Magistrates Court heard how on 9 September 2017, the 25-year-old worker suffered an open crush injury to his left forearm at the company’s site in Dansom Lane South, Kingston upon Hull. He also sustained tendon damage to the forearm, wrist and hand.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the filling machine had not been electronically isolated and locked off by the injured person, or other persons, which would have ensured that the recalibration task could be carried out in a safe manner.

Reckitt Benckiser Ltd of Dansom Lane, Hull pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £8,261.28 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector David Stewart said, “Non-routine maintenance tasks must be carried out by trained personnel working to standard safe operating procedures.

“Reckitt Benckiser should have developed a standard operating procedure for the adjustment process, which if implemented correctly along with their lock off procedure, could have prevented the incident.”