No first aid available when worker suffered life-changing injury

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No first aid was available when an agency worker suffered a life-changing injury, a court has been told.

The 34-year-old woman had been working her second shift at the NPS Worldwide UK Limited site at Oldham in October 2017.

While removing a blockage inside a filling machine, her fingers became caught in an unguarded rotating fan, Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard.

She lost parts of all of her fingers on her right hand and sustained extensive scarring to her stomach following an unsuccessful attempt to generate new skin growth to save them.

The woman continues to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the incident.

An HSE investigation found the fan had not been suitably guarded, putting employees and agency workers at risk. 

The company, which makes absorbent products, had failed to carry out a suitable risk assessment and provide adequate information, instruction and training to workers. 

The lack of first aid provision on the night shift when the incident occurred contributed to the injured person suffering further, as incorrect first aid was administered.

NPS Worldwide UK Limited of Vulcan Business Park, Derker Street, Oldham, admitted breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations.

It was fined £28,000 with costs of £7,771.

HSE inspector Sharon Butler said after the hearing: “This injury could have easily been prevented and the risk should have been identified.

“Employers must make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”

Mick Brennan, Health and Safety Manager at EP Risk Consultancy said: “This case illustrates the need for employers to comply with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and First Aid Regulations.

“As part of our extensive training programme, we offer OFQUAL Qualsafe first aid courses and courses on the safe use of work equipment.”