Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

A Lincolnshire-based paper firm has been heavily fined after three workers in its factory suffered hand injuries from using unguarded machines.

Three workers at the Fulbeck Heath factory of Staples Disposables Ltd have been injured over the last two years in accidents involving unguarded machines at its factory. The incidents are as follows:

  • On 26 July 2011 Mr Bruno Jorge, 32, had to have his left thumb amputated after it was crushed in unguarded machinery on a production line. He was off work for a considerable period of time but has now returned to other duties with the company.
  • On 25 August 2011 Ms Yelena Semenchenko, 30, cut her finger on the blade of a napkin folding machine. She also endured a period off work but did not return to work for the company
  • In August 2012 Mr Simon Burnett, 46, lost all four fingers on his right hand after it was caught between unguarded rollers on a machine. Mr Burnett is currently off work and it is not yet known whether he will return to the company or to work at all.

The reporting of these injuries led the Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”) to conduct an investigation into the nature of the accidents and whether the employer was at fault. This investigation resulted in a recommendation that criminal proceedings be commenced against Staples Disposables Ltd for serious breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The Lincoln Crown Court heard on 19 April 2013 that Mr Jorge’s injury was incurred whilst he was accessing the machine to clear a blockage – a normal practice at the firm. The court also heard that the HSE had discovered that the manufacturers had over-ridden interlocking guards on the machine that injured Mr Jorge so that engineers could access the machine more easily. Staples’ management knew about the missing guards but failed to implement any measures to reinstate the locks or prevent harm coming to their employees.

The HSE investigation also discovered that the accident to Ms Semenchenko was caused by the removal of an electrically-interlocked guard and that the third accident was caused by the maintaining of the highly-dangerous practice of locking machine operators within an enclosure to keep them away from the dangerous elements of a manufacturing line.

Staples Disposables Ltd was prosecuted under s.2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, namely that:

  • s.2(1): it had failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of its employees; and
  • s.3(1): it had failed to conduct its undertakings in such a way as to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that persons not in its employment who may have been affected thereby were not thereby exposed to risks to their health and safety

The company pleaded guilty to breaches of both sections. It was fined a total of £85,000 and ordered to pay costs of £31,380.

An HSE inspector stated after the court case that “Staples Disposables Ltd had a poor health and safety management system and failed to suitably supervise factory operations”.

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.70 Average

73 Reviews

Richard v

Excellent Service

Posted 3 days ago

Anonymous

Very happy from service received. Highly recommend

Posted 3 days ago

Colin W

Very professional and thorough. Sachs who dealt with the bulk of my case was excellent Thank you. .

Posted 3 days ago

Anonymous

I was generally impressed with the fast turn around, efficiency, responsiveness, and consideration of circumstances. I needed a couple of areas of advice quickly and with Redmans help was able to get to a conclusion quickly and with minimum stress. They were friendly and professional throughout - I'd use them again.

Posted 4 days ago

Anonymous

The guidance and assistance I recently received when using Redman's was fantastic. Caroline & Chris were both very informative and understanding walking me through each step. Thank you.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Nicola W

Fantastic service, very quick and efficient. Thank you

Posted 4 weeks ago

Anonymous

Excellent professional service.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Anonymous

As with All solicitors advice without consequence but understood and communicated my legal position

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Prompt, professional and excellent service.

Posted 1 month ago

Dominic C

Excellent service, prompt and helpful

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

I found Redman’s to be very efficient and got me the best deal available in the short time scale that was available.

Posted 1 month ago

Victor L

Very professional. Provided excellent advice on my Settlement agreement.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Professional from start to finish.

Posted 1 month ago

Oliver W

Excellent service provided by Redmans, will certainly consider using again.

Posted 1 month ago

Melanie H

Very professional and extremely personable service. Thank you very much.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

I found Chris to be very approachable and easy to speak with about complex matters. He took action quickly and his updates to me, as his client, were prompt. I would recommend Chris and the team at Redmans without hesitation.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Good advice

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Overall happy with the service provided by Chris and Rana.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Chris and Rana provide a great service, very informed, diligent and care about your result, would recommend Redmans

Posted 1 month ago

David W

A speedy efficient friendly service, I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors for processing Settlement Agreements.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Both Rana and Chris were fantastic. From the first phone call I was confident my matter was in good hands. I was not disappointed. I would highly recommend Redmans. Thank you again for all of your support and advice.

Posted 2 months ago