Pauls Malt fined £8,000 after worker loses leg

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Pauls Malt was fined £8,000 after a maintenance engineer lost a leg in a silo accident
Pauls Malt was fined £8,000 after a maintenance engineer lost a leg in a silo accident
The UK’s largest malt supplier, Pauls Malt has been fined £8,000 after a maintenance engineer lost a leg when trapped in a grain silo.

Derek Kinmond became trapped in the 25,000t grain silo while trying to clear a blockage at the firm’s Sidlaw Grain Store, Sidlaw, Burrelton, Perthshire on October 27 2008.

The court heard how he entered the silo to clear a blockage on two occasions after switching off the electrical supply to the auger. But on his third attempt, he did not isolate the power and his legs became entangled in the auger.

Amputated

Kidmond was taken to hospital, where his left leg was amputated below the knee. His right leg was also badly broken.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigators discovered that the firm’s procedures for working inside silos were unsafe because there was no supervision on site to ensure that they were followed.

The firm used a 'Permit To Work' system which required an independent and competent person to verify that the auger was switched off before an employee entered the silo. But, on the day of the accident, the person nominated by the company, the site manager, had been absent for a number of months. His substitute had left the firm the previous week.

HSE principal inspector Peter Dodd said after the hearing: "If Pauls Malt had ensured that there was a competent person on site to authorise and oversee the work being undertaken to empty the grain silo, then this incident would not have happened.

Sick leave

"The site manager was on long term sick leave yet no review of the company's systems of work had been carried out. Mr Kidmond should not have been left in the position to be authorising his own work.

"The duty on the employers does not simply extend to giving instructions but ensuring that the instructions are carried out."

The firm, which has since been taken over, was fined £8,000 at Perth Sheriff Court after it pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Related topics: Drinks, Cereals and bakery preparations

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