A factory worker was left needing skin grafts after the packaging company he worked for failed to take adequate measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery.

Jiffy Packaging Company Limited, which produces packaging for the food industry and stationery products, was found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court last week after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and was fined £70,000 with full costs of £53,509.

The Court heard the rag the worker was using to clean ink from the machine got caught in one of the motorised cogs, causing his hand to be pulled into the rotating cogs. His left thumb was severed, resulting in him being unable to work for 15 weeks.

The HSE investigation found the company’s risk assessment had been written nine years earlier by an employee untrained in creating risk assessments. The company had previously been served with several HSE Improvement Notices highlighting machinery guarding issues.

Jiffy Packaging Company Ltd, of Road Four, Winsford, Cheshire was found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at work etc Act 1974 and was fined £70,000 with full costs of £53,509.

HSE inspector Adam McMahon said after the hearing: “The employee’s life changing injuries could have been prevented if a suitable and sufficient risk assessment had been completed and the correct control measures implemented.