A Merseyside wood product manufacturer has been fined £466,666 and ordered to pay costs of £7,475 after a worker was dragged, in June 2016, into a rotating drive shaft. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to adequately guard the production line, allowing access to dangerous parts of machinery, including conveyors and drive shafts during both operation and cleaning.
During a return visit by HSE, in April 2018, it was discovered that the company had changed the layout of the production line, leaving accessible dangerous parts, including an identical shaft to the one which the victim was injured on. A Prohibition Notice and an Improvement Notice were served to address the risks.
The subsequent investigation showed that mill operatives were regularly accessing the strapping section while the machinery was still running, and the Production Director was aware of this.