Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how on 8 November 2019, an employee had his index finger severed after his left hand came into contact with a mixer while cleaning the door mechanism.
The accident was a result of a lack of necessary training that should have been signed off before the employee was allowed to work on their own.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Troy Foods (Salads) Ltd failed to adequately maintain guarding arrangements on a paddle mixer, while also having deficiencies with training and supervision.
Troy Foods Salads Ltd of George Mann Way, Leeds, West Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 11 (1) Provision and use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The manufacturer was fined £93,000 and ordered to pay £769 in costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Julian Franklin reinforced the need for better compliance, supervision and training in the workplace.
“This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply implementing the correct control measures and safe working practices,” Franklin added.
Incidents involving hands
This past year has seen a number of food and drink firms fined for accidents involving members of staff injuring their hands in workplace accidents.
In July, Fruit juice manufacturer AMC Freshly Squeezed Ltd was fined £16,000 after a worker lost three fingers in an accident involving a screw conveyor.
While the screw conveyor was being cleaned, the employee noticed that no water or debris was exiting the drain as it normally would. In an attempt to remove the blockage, the worker inserted their hand through the drain hole resulting in the severing of two fingers below the second knuckle and one below the first.
Meanwhile, in September, Sports nutrition firm Applied Nutrition Ltd received a £70,000 fine for health and safety failings, after a worker’s hand was severed while cleaning machinery.