The incident happened at the print firm’s facility on Drayton Industrial Estate in Norwich, when a 44-year-old employee opened a service compartment on a press to make an adjustment.

As he leaned in, he slipped and put his hand out, which then got caught in an unguarded moving part of the press. The employee received hospital treatment and was unable to return to his job for three months.

A subsequent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that a fixed metal guard had been removed by other employees five weeks earlier, from the service compartment in question.

Swallowtail pleaded guilty at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on 28 August to breaching health and safety at work regulations and was fined £6,700 and ordered to pay £3,030 in costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

HSE Inspector Paul Unwin said: “This incident was entirely foreseeable and therefore preventable. The risks to employees from exposed machinery are well known.

“Had Swallowtail Print met its duties, it would not have been possible for the employee to have accessed moving parts of machinery in this way and an injury would not have occurred.”