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Glasgow firm fined after worker loses finger

11-09-2012

A Glasgow firm has been fined after an employee lost a finger and seriously injured his hand and arm when they became caught in machinery.

Daniel Campbell, 29, was working for Robert Cullen Limited, a manufacturer of corrugated cartons and moulded pulp products, at its premises in Dawsholm Avenue, when the incident happened on 5 July 2010.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established that the safety gates on a pulp products machine were not working properly, which meant it could operate when the gates were open.

The investigation also found that the company had failed to provide adequate training for Mr Campbell in the use of the machine, and in particular he was lacking knowledge of how to clear blockages safely.

On 4 September, Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that Mr Campbell had worked at the site, known as 'The Pulp Factory', for ten years but it was only days before the incident that he started work on the machine that caused his injuries.

On 5 July 2010 he was told when he started his nightshift that he was expected to operate the machine as the worker who usually operated it was on leave. The machine jammed and stopped and he climbed into it to clear the blockage.

A colleague thought he heard Mr Campbell shout to him to start the machine. When he did so Mr Campbell was still within the machine trying to unblock it and he was trapped by his hand and forearm in the machinery.

His colleague was unable to release him and had to make contact with a worker who was at home to get instructions on how to do so. Mr Campbell remained trapped for up to 20 minutes.

His right index finger was so badly damaged it had to be amputated and he required 124 stitches to close wounds in his hand and arm. He was in hospital for seven days and continues to receive treatment as an outpatient. He still has limited movement and sensation in his hand, suffers chronic pain and may never make a full recovery.

Robert Cullen Limited, of Kirklee Circus, Glasgow, was fined £50,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

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