Leg amputation leads to £70k fine for food producer

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The company was fined £73,333 at Hull and Holderness Magistrates Court. Credit: Getty / Marilyn Nieves
The company was fined £73,333 at Hull and Holderness Magistrates Court. Credit: Getty / Marilyn Nieves

Related tags health & safety

A mushroom producer has been fined £73,333 after an employee’s leg became trapped in a machine and was later amputated.

Luka Ilic’s right leg was caught by the rotating blades of a mushroom filling machine and became stuck in the device’s moving parts on 16 October 2019.

The incident took place at a site operated by Howden Enterprises Ltd (trading under the name Hughes Mushrooms) in Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, East Yorkshire.

The 29-year-old, who has working in a team of three people, had climbed onto the top of the machine while cleaning it to remove the last remaining parts of compost.

The machine was then turned on, leading to Mr Ilic’s leg being caught by the rotating blades in the mixing axle and becoming trapped. His leg was later amputated below the knee at hospital.

'Incident could have easily been avoided'

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident found that Howden Enterprises Ltd had failed to adequately assess the operation of the filling machine, in particular the cleaning of the machine.

The company had also failed to ensure that robust isolation and safe operating procedures were in place and followed.

Following the investigation, Howden Enterprises Ltd of Trew Mount Road, Dungannon, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The company was fined £73,333.00 and ordered to pay £7,522.60 in costs at Hull and Holderness Magistrates Court on 10 April 2024.

Commenting on the case, HSE inspector Louise Redgrove said: “The importance of a suitable and sufficient risk assessment which reflects all actual practical activities cannot be underestimated.

“It is vital to ensure there are effective systems of work and physical controls which are implemented, supervised and used by all those involved. This incident could have easily been avoided with a robust isolation procedure and padlock for each worker involved.”

In other news, advocacy group Ban the Batistas has called for a global consumer boycott of brands owned by meat processing giant JBS.

Related topics Legal

Related news

Follow us

Featured Jobs

View more


Food Manufacture Podcast

Listen to the Food Manufacture podcast