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Food Firm Fined For Repeat Offences

Workers injured


A meat processing firm has been fined a total of £265,000 for three separate safety breaches, two of which resulted in workers being badly injured.

The three incidents all occurred within the space of five months at Tulip's Thetford site, Norwich Crown Court heard.

The first incident took place on October 4, 2005 when Tulip employee Michael Warnes trapped his hand while clearing a jam in machinery used in the food packaging process. The machinery had no adequate guards in place and Mr Warnes lost the top parts of three fingers as a result of the accident.

On November 28 the same year, contractor Korim Richardson suffered a severe electric shock while working from a ladder to change a light fitting. The impact caused him to fall against a wall, cracking bones in his shoulder. The insulation on the wiring was heat damaged, the court heard - a fault which the Health and Safety Executive said would have been picked up by a simple check had one been carried out.

On February 26, 2006 Tulip received a prohibition notice for allowing employees and contractors to access inadequately guarded wooden walkways over a fragile suspended ceiling.

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "It is often the case that an industrial accident could and should have been avoided. As such some person suffers injury or death unnecessarily and their families suffer as a result of the work accident.

"This case is more alarming as we see a company fined for three separate breaches two of which resulted in workers being injured in accidents at work.

"I welcome the fine imposed and hope this serves as a lesson to other employers who feel they can flout health and safety legislation."