Worker paralysed after being crushed by reel of paper

An employee of a major paper producer in North Wales has been left paralysed from the chest down after being crushed by a two tonne reel of paper.

Christopher John Shaw, from Wirral, was working as an assistant winder for SCA Hygiene Products UK Ltd when the incident occurred on 29 July 2007.

Mr Shaw (38) was involved in producing and preparing paper reels at the firm’s site in Oakenholt, Flint. He was using his body weight to slow down a moving paper reel when he slipped. The reel, which was around two metres in diameter, then rolled onto him causing serious crush injuries which left him with paralysis.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the firm after an investigation and at Mold Crown Court it pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £18,514

HSE inspector Will Gretton said:

“Employees using their body weight to slow down such large and potentially dangerous items as paper reels, clearly isn’t a safe way of working.

“There were clear risks that weren’t properly managed by the company, which resulted in Mr Shaw’s horrific injuries.

“The consequences of this incident could have been even more serious. The company has now put into place more effective measures to protect the health and safety of their employees, unfortunately too late for Mr Shaw.”

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