Worker Loses Fingers In Machinery Incident
A pork product manufacturer has been fined £16,000 and ordered to pay costs in relation to an incident which saw a worker sever two fingers in a mixing machine.
The 60-year-old employee suffered the workplace injury in December 2009 at Tulip Ltd’s factory in Ruskington, when he reached into a mixing bowl to remove a piece of plastic spotted while he was adding ingredients to the mixture in it.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that a lack of safety equipment meant that the paddles in the machine did not stop when the seasoning was being added to the other ingredients.
It was also revealed that the danger of leaving the equipment unguarded was raised in a previous risk assessment, but no action to rectify the issue was taken.
Stephen Nye, a workplace injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office, said: “Like a huge number of the cases we work on, this terrible incident highlights the devastating consequences that workers can face when employers do not take the necessary steps to protect them from harm.
“Health and safety needs to be a priority in all workplaces, particularly in environments where dangerous machinery is being operated. Appropriate machine guards, emergency stop mechanisms and protective equipment can play a vital role in keeping workers safe.
“Time and again we see businesses failing to identify risks or to take steps to ensure workplace safety and this has to change. We hope that lessons can be learnt from incidents of this nature which will ensure that the issue of safety becomes a fundamental priority for employers in the future.”
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