Food manufacturing firm sentenced after an employee had two fingers severed.

Published: 6 Nov 2015

On Monday 2 November 2015, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), prosecuting, told Boston Magistrates’ Court the worker’s fingers were severed when his hand came into contact with the paddles of a mixing machine, while he was cleaning it.

The issue of access to the dangerous parts of the machine had been raised by a supervisor in 2013, but the company had failed to take the necessary action. The injured party had not received training on the machine.

The guarding standard of the mixer fell below what is required by law and gave rise to significant risk.

The standards the company needed to apply were widely available, long published and easily understood.

The food manufacturer was found in breach of Regulation 11 (1) of the Provision of Use of Work Regulations 1998 and Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act. 1974 and was fined £20,000 for each offence and ordered to pay full costs of £1,037.

Implications for clients: - To avoid potential work place accidents and enforcement action, ensure that that the following criteria is met:

  1. Ensure that a risk assessment is carried out on all dangerous machine with regular reviews to be carried out as required.
  2. The relevant staff must receive training in the risk assessment and safe system of work for both the usage and cleaning of dangerous machinery.
  3. A suitable protective guard must be provided for the use of dangerous machinery as per manufacturer’s instructions. Also ensure that the relevant PPE is worn as specified by manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Any defects noted to dangerous machinery must be addressed with the maintenance department as soon as possible to prevent possible accidents.