Printing company fined for multiple health & safety breaches

10:42 - 05/01/2010

Printing company fined for multiple h...

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has prosecuted a printing company after an investigation into a worker’s injury uncovered a whole catalogue of health and safety failings at its Bedfordshire factory.

Sandra Aka, an employee of Flitwick firm Colpac Ltd, was injured when trying to release a blockage in a printing machine at the food packaging printing factory. Miss Aka, from Bedford, suffered cuts and bruising to her left arm as a result of the incident which occurred on 14th August 2008.

A subsequent investigation by the HSE found that Colpac had neglected to provide Miss Aka, then aged 20, with the necessary training. It also revealed failings in electrical safety, machinery isolation, manual handling and machinery guard checks. As a result of the findings, the company was served with five prohibition notices that ordered them to cease certain activities until the health and safety issues had been properly addressed. Four further notices for improvement in less critical safety matters were also issued.

Colpac Ltd and two of its directors - Terry Langton, of Huntsmead, Northampton, and Stephen Burton, of Kempston, Bedford – were prosecuted at Bedford and Mid Bedfordshire Magistrate’s Court on Thursday 10th December. The company was fined a total of £20,000 for two health and safety charges, while operations director Terry Langton was fined a further £3,000 for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and manager Steve Burton was fined £800 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 7 of the same Act.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Emma Rowlands said: "We make no apology for intervening and ordering urgent action to be taken - these steps needed to be made quickly before somebody else was seriously injured or, worse still, killed. HSE does not take breaches of health and safety legislation lightly and will do everything in its power to prosecute companies and individuals that do not follow the law."

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