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A Wigan Factory Employee Loses Her Fingers in a Work Accident

June 4, 2012 by  Filed under News


 Work AccidentA packaging company has been prosecuted after a female worker lost her fingers while punching handles in plastic bags. The accident occurred when Karen Schoelzel, the victim of this accident at work, was fixing a rubber insert under a cutting machine and the device started operating all of a sudden. The 53 year old woman was the employee Arrow Flexible Packaging Ltd and the mishap took place in the company’s worksite in Clarence Street, Golborne.

The case was a filed in Trafford Magistrates’ Court where the no win no fee solicitors representing Schoelzel explicated the entire incident before the judge. The court ordered Arrow Flexible Packaging Ltd to pay a sum of £3,500 to recompense the victim’s loss of income and asked the company to pay £1,000 as prosecution costs.

After conducting a thorough site inspection, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) offered six improvement notices and a prohibition notice to Arrow Flexible Packaging Ltd. The notices urged the company to introduce health and safety programs to improve the safety and security of the workers. The company is asked to make safety improvements to the machines so as to prevent the occurrence of similar events in future. The notices issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prevented the use of printing press until proper guards are installed.

The court hearing was scheduled on October 28 2011. During the hearing the judge said that by failing to forbid access to grievous machine parts, the Arrow Flexible Packaging Ltd breached the Provision of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company pleaded guilty to breaching the law. After winning the work accident compensation, Karen Schoelzel stated that she is happy to get the large amount of money as compensation, but it is a regret that she can never get back to the job she used to do. She added that the accident has affected her so badly she cannot even do the everyday chores like shopping and gardening. It is also difficult for her to hold the fork and spoon properly to have her meals.

After the court hearing, Emily Osborne, the chief investigating officer of the case, sympathized with Schoelzel and said that the accident could be easily avoided if the company was responsible enough to provide the workers with a safe and sound working environment. Osborne emphasized that there should have been safety guards attached to the machine to turn it difficult for the workers to access the dangerous cutting machine. The investigating officer of the Schoelzel case said that the employers should act more responsibly to forbid the occurrence of these events.

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