Northallerton Magistrates' Court heard that Sam Goodall suffered a broken forearm after when it became caught in a conveyor belt.
Goodall, of Northallerton, was working on the firm’s production line in Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire when his glove got caught and his arm was drawn into an in-feed conveyor belt.
Although the worker managed to pull himself free, he suffered two broken bones in his right arm and a dislocated wrist. Goodall missed six weeks work after the accident, which took place on August 8 2011.
Dangerous moving part
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed the company had removed a part of the line leaving a gap in the side of the conveyor belt. Goodall put his hand through the gap to retrieve some trapped lids. It was then his glove became entangled and his arm was drawn into a dangerous moving part of the machine, which was inadequately guarded, said the HSE.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Kate Dixon said: "I am pleased that Mr Goodall has made a full recovery, but many other employees sustain permanent disability or impairment because machine safety has been neglected.
"Unguarded or poorly guarded machinery is the cause of many injuries in workplaces across the country. Employees should not be exposed to risks to their safety through their everyday work.”
R&R Ice Cream failed to make sure that the dangerous moving parts of the in-feed conveyor were not accessible by the workforce on the production line, she added. This failure could have been addressed at minimal cost.
"They also failed to re-assess the risk to workers after the change they made to the production line. Even temporary changes to machinery should be fully considered to make sure additional risks are identified and addressed."
R&R Ice Cream UK, of Richmond House, Leeming Bar, was fined a total of £10,000 with £3,294 in costs. It admitted a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and a second offence of contravening the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
A spokesperson for R&R said: “We acknowledge that the machine guard had been temporarily removed for maintenance purposes but all staff had been strongly warned to avoid the area.
"R&R is very proud of its overall safety record and the Leeming Bar site has had just two reportable accidents over the past four years.”
For HSE advice on the safe use of machinery, click here.
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