Wrexham Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 3 May 2017, the employee was modifying pipework at one of the company’s plants in Minera, Wrexham, when a pneumatic valve opened, covering him in hot caustic and steam.
The worker suffered serious burns to 27% of his body, resulting in a four-week stay in hospital to recover from the accident.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Tomlinson’s Dairies had failed to ensure the safe isolation of plant and pipework before work commenced.
Informal risk control systems
The company had relied on informal risk control systems and arrangements, which the HSE deemed no longer sufficient for a business of its size.
Tomlinson’s Dairies Limited of Five Crosses Industrial Estate, Minera, Wrexham pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4267.20.
Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Gary Martin said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of work and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.
“If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life-changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”
Tomlinson’s Dairies told Food Manufacture: “The company deeply regrets that an incident occurred involving one of its employees.
“The business has operated for 34 years with an excellent health and safety record and it took immediate steps to ensure this does not happen again.”
Tomlinson’s supplies milk to 300 outlets across wales, the Midlands and north west England and has the capacity to produce 100m litres of milk a year.
Meanwhile, last month, sandwiches and prepared foods manufacture Bakkavor was fined £176,000 after an employee was killed at its Caledonian Produce site in Bridgeness, Scotland as a result of being struck by empty food trays.
Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.