Baxters fined £6,000 for worker’s accident

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Baxters was fined £6,000 for safety failings
Baxters was fined £6,000 for safety failings

Related tags: Belt, Conveyor belt, Hse

Soups, sauces and spreads manufacturer Baxters has been fined £6,000, after one of its workers suffered serious injury when his hand was caught between a conveyor belt and roller.

The worker, Kayode Ogundele, of Lossiemouth, trapped his left hand in the machinery at Baxters’ Riverside Factory in Fochabers on March 19 2013.

Elgin Sheriff Court heard Ogundele was working on a newly-installed Fray Bentos line – including removing product cases – when his hand was drawn into the gap between the moving conveyor and a newly-installed roller.

Suffered lacerations

Unable to remove his hand or stop the conveyor, the worker suffered lacerations and open wounds to three fingers on his hand before he could be freed from the machine by a passing forklift truck driver. Ogundele was unable to work for a month and is said to still suffer pain in his hand and has been unable to regain full movement.

While Baxters’ had assessed some of the risks of the new line, the firm had failed to identify the need for further assessments after its installation, according to an Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation.

The court was told the worker had received a basic induction and health and safety briefing when he joined the firm but had not been instructed on the machinery he was asked to operate.

The HSE judged the task of picking up cases meant staff came close to dangerous parts of the machine where the conveyor and roller came together. The risk was heightened by the fact that the danger area could be obscured by the item being lifted, it said.

Dangerous parts of the machine

After the accident a tunnel guard was fitted along with pop-up rollers, and a full assessment of risks of the line was carried out. The assessment identified other potential nip points where additional guarding was required.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Penny Falconer said the accident was entirely avoidable. “The dangers of nip points, or the gaps between a moving belt and a stationary part of a machine, are well-known in the industry,”​ said Falconer.

“Baxters Food Group Limited should have carried out a full assessment of the risks to workers of the new production line. That would have identified what needed to be done and the company could have taken the right action by introducing guards and other safety measures where necessary.​ 

As a result of the company’s failings, the worker suffered injuries to his left hand which still cause him problems, she added.

Baxters Food Group Ltd, of Highfield House, Fochabers, Moray, was fined a total of £6,000 after pleading guilty to an offence of breaching Regulations 11(1) and 11(2) of the Provision and Use or Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

HSE advice on safety in the food manufacturing is available here​.

HSE verdict:

“Baxters Food Group Limited should have carried out a full assessment of the risks to workers of the new production line. That would have identified what needed to be done and the company could have taken the right action by introducing guards and other safety measures where necessary.​ 

Related news

Show more

Related products

Hygienic design boosts quality and safety

Hygienic design boosts quality and safety

Minebea Intec | 16-Aug-2018 | Technical / White Paper

Avoiding food contamination and increasing product safety are key objectives of all food producers. It is critical to prevent any type of contamination...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more

Webinars