Marybelle Pur Natur Ltd pleaded guilty for failing to ensure that access to dangerous parts of a yogurt-filling machine was prevented.
Last week, Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 30 December 2016, a fixed guard on the front of the machine had been removed.
An employee stepped on the frame of machine at the same time as a moving part descended, crushing their right foot.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found a cable had been replaced on the machine a few days before the incident, but it was the wrong size and protruded out of the machine, so the guard could not be fully fixed into position.
In addition, due to setting-up problems, the guard was regularly being removed while the machine was in operation.
Marybelle, of Old Hall Farm, near Halesworth, Suffolk, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. It was fined £32,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,767.09.
‘Effective control measures’
Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Saffron Turnell said: “Employers should ensure that effective control measures are taken to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery in all aspects of the use of that machine.
“In this case, particular attention was required following maintenance of the machine.
“Marybelle Pur Natur Ltd failed to effectively maintain the guarding of the machine, despite being aware of the risks it presented – and, as a result, their employee has suffered a serious injury.”
Marybelle Pur Natur was established in 2014, when Marybelle Dairy became a subsidiary company of Pur Natur Invest. It produces a range of flavoured yogurts, crème fraîche, cream and milk