Pie machine accident leads to £16k bill

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Nectar Patisserie Ltd 'consistently missed a glaring problem with a piece of machinery': HSE
Nectar Patisserie Ltd 'consistently missed a glaring problem with a piece of machinery': HSE

Related tags: Pastry, Health and safety executive, Hse

A London-based pie manufacturer has been ordered to pay more than £16,000 after a worker had part of her finger severed by a pie and tart machine.

Nectar Patisserie Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to ensure proper guarding on the pie machine, which lead to the accident on May 23 2015 at the firm’s Garman Road site, Tottenham.

The accident happened when an employee – who asked to remain anonymous – noticed not enough dough was being discharged at the beginning of the production process into tart tins, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told.

Severed half her finger

To ensure the smooth running of the production process the worker used her right hand index finger to scoop additional dough out of the dough depositor outlet while the machine was still running. While this process worked successfully once, the second time an automatic knife – which cuts the dough into portions – severed half of her finger.

A HSE enquiry into the accident revealed that the company had failed to ensure a dangerous part of the machinery was sufficiently guarded.

After the hearing HSE inspector Nick Faber said: “The purpose of these ​[safety] regulations are to ensure that employees who operate machinery do not suffer serious injury from a moment’s distraction or error in judgement, which is what happened in this case.

‘Missed a glaring problem’

“While the company had health and safety procedures in place which they diligently followed, they consistently missed a glaring problem with a piece of machinery. Essentially they hadn’t truly understood the purpose of their checks and practices.”

Faber advised managers to ensure that any health and safety system in place was “practical and actively challenges normal working practices to improve workplace safety”.

Nectar Patisserie Limited, of Leeside Industrial Estate, Garman Road, Tottenham, was fined a total of £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,638 after pleading guilty to an offence under Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

HSE advice about machinery safety is available here.

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