Egg firm told to pay £19,000 after lost fingers

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

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Christopher Gregory, HSE inspector, said: "This case shows the importance of learning from mistakes"
Christopher Gregory, HSE inspector, said: "This case shows the importance of learning from mistakes"
Worcestershire egg firm Bumble Hole Foods has been ordered to pay £19,000 after a worker severed two fingers while cleaning a production line drain.

The 25 year-old worker lost part of his index and middle fingers of his right hand when it came into contact with a heavy duty blade during the accident on August 26 2010.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the risks of cleaning around the blade at the firm’s Fockbury plant, Bromsgrove had not been adequately assessed or controlled.

Employees were able to reach dangerous moving parts while the blade was running.

Redditch Magistrates Court heard that Bumble Hole Foods was aware of the risks following a similar incident four years ago.

Not qualified

Also, the court heard how training was carried out by employees who were not qualified to instruct others.

Speaking after the hearing, Christopher Gregory, HSE inspector, said: “This incident was entirely foreseeable and easily preventable. The risks of cleaning around the drain had not been adequately assessed or controlled so unfortunately, a much larger price has been paid, not least by its employee.

"This case shows the importance of learning from mistakes and ensuring that formal advice from the HSE is not ignored. Employers have a duty to act on their findings. If Bumble Hole Foods had taken prompt action after the previous incident, this could so easily have been avoided.”

Bumble Hole Foods pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

The firm was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,303.

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