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Banbury firm fined after man's thumb crushed in machine

A printing firm has been fined after a worker's thumb was crushed when it was pulled into a machine which was not protected.

The man, 40, was clearing jammed booklets from a stacker machine at BenhamGoodHeadPrint Limited, Bicester, in May 2009 when he became caught.

An investigation began which found the machine was missing a guard.

The company, which admitted breaching health and safety laws, was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £3,289 costs.

The worker needed a number of stitches and was off work for six weeks, Banbury Magistrates' Court was told.

'Incident avoidable'

The stacker machine at the firm's Chaucer Business Park premises used belts that ran over rollers to move booklets along to be packaged for delivery.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation showed a guard was missing from the machine, which would have protected the rollers and prevented access to the moving parts.

Work to use and un-jam this machine was also not properly planned.

Since the incident, the company has installed a guard over the roller.

BenhamGoodHeadPrint Limited pleaded guilty to breaching two health and safety regulations.

HSE Inspector Sharron Cripps said: "It is important when undertaking a risk assessment to consider less frequent activities such as un-jamming blockages, as in this case.

"This incident was avoidable, and had this type of work been properly planned then this would never have happened."

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