A Neath toilet roll manufacturer has been fined after a worker suffered a serious injury while operating machinery at their Baglan Energy Park premises.

Phillip Evans, 43 from Maesteg, was employed by Intertissue Ltd as a core operator, and was assisting his shift supervisor in clearing a wraparound of paper from the steel roller of a rewinding machine – used to layer the tissue paper.

Neath Port Talbot Magistrates’ Court heard a compressed air gun was used to cut the wraparound of paper and pull it free from the roller. The shift supervisor was at the controls of the rewinding machine and pressed the ‘jog’ button – which moves the rollers around at a reduced speed.

Mr Evans’ hand was caught between the upper and lower rollers of the machine. Three fingers of his left hand were crushed resulting in permanent damage to his hand.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Intertissue Ltd of Brunel Way, Baglan Energy Park in Neath, had failed to take effective measures to prevent access to a dangerous part of machinery.

The company pleaded guilty to a charge under Regulation 11(1) of the Provisions and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and were fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £1365 costs.

Following the hearing, HSE inspector Stuart Charles said:

“This man has suffered debilitating injuries in an entirely preventable incident.

“Intertissue Ltd failed in its duty to ensure workers were able to operate machinery safely in their day-to-day roles. This is a well known hazard throughout the industry and had suitable measures been in place this incident would not have happened.

“Mr Evans’s injuries would have been avoided if simple precautions, in this case, a machine guard had been in place.”