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Food company in court over worker’s hand injury

Posted in: Employer Negligence Faulty Work Equipment Finger Injuries Workplace Injuries 

A Leeds-based food company has been fined for safety failings after an agency worker had two fingers crushed by hydraulic rams in a sausage roll machine which had a broken guard.

The 26-year-old worker was removing filling for pasties from a hopper on the machine when his fingers came into contact with dangerous moving parts.

Two fingers on his right hand were badly injured. The middle finger has been left with no nerve sensation and his third finger, which had to be stitched back on, has only partial sensation. He will have permanent limitations with his hand as a result.

HSE found an interlocked guard that should have stopped the movement of dangerous parts was not working. Magistrates were told that HSE had served an Improvement Notice on the company after guarding deficiencies were identified on other machinery during a visit in December 2011.

After the workplace accident, the company was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,688 in full costs after pleading guilty to one offence under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

HSE statistics for 2010/11 show that there was one death and more than 800 major injuries in the food and drink manufacturing industries. A further 4,000 less severe injuries were recorded.


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