Nestle fined £800k after worker accident

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Nestle was fined £800k after a worker was drawn into a machine
Nestle was fined £800k after a worker was drawn into a machine

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Nestle UK Ltd has been fined £800k for a health and safety offence, after a worker suffered life-changing injuries at its Newcastle factory.

South Tyneside Magistrate’s Court heard how a man was drawn into a roller mechanism on a conveyor machine on 30 November 2020. 

The worker, a maintenance technician, was investigating a problem on the conveyor belt of a machine used to make chocolate sweets. While checking the machine, his sleeve was caught in a roller, which dragged his left arm into the machine, trapping it between the roller and a conveyor belt. 

Investigation 

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had not properly assessed the risk created by the rollers under the conveyor belt and failed to guard the roller, which was a dangerous part. 

It was foreseeable that employees would require access to this area and there was a clear risk of injury to employees coming into contact with this roller. Nestle had previously been prosecuted following a similar incident at its Halifax factory. 

Nestle UK Ltd of City Place, Gatwick, West Sussex, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.  

Fine and costs 

The manufacturer was fined £800,000, ordered to pay costs of £7776.50 and a victim surcharge of £190 at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court. 

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector William Gilroy said: “This incident could easily have been avoided had Nestle properly reviewed the safety measures at its plant and its equipment to ensure that access to dangerous parts was prevented. 

“Nestle were aware of this risk following a similar incident at its Halifax plant but failed to take appropriate action.” 

Meanwhile, last week, Meat firm Dunbia (UK) was fined £440,000 after a security guard at its Hatherleigh, Devon abattoir was seriously injured.​ 

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