Drinks firm fined £14k after worker loses finger in bottling machinery

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The company was fined £14k at Loughborough Magistrates Court on 24 April 2024. Credit: Getty / Marilyn Nieves
The company was fined £14k at Loughborough Magistrates Court on 24 April 2024. Credit: Getty / Marilyn Nieves

Related tags Beverages

A drinks company near Leicester has been fined £14,000 after an employee had to have his finger amputated following an incident involving a bottling machine.

Daniel Richardson, then 32, was working at the manufacturing plant of drinks business Sourcing International Limited in Wigston, Leicestershire on 17 January 2022, when the incident occurred.

While assisting a colleague who had encountered problems with a bottle cap machine, Richardson reached into the capper unit to remove the jammed part at which point, the capper head descended onto his finger and amputated the tip.

Attempts to re-attach the tip of Richardson’s finger at Leicester Royal Infirmary were unsuccessful, and a result they had to amputate his finger between the first and second knuckle.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Sourcing International Limited, which was trading as Drinks Chef, had failed to properly guard against access to dangerous parts of machinery.

During the investigation, HSE found that fixed guarding had been removed and the machine was frequently used without it. Meanwhile, an interlock device which should function to isolate the power and stop the machine when protective doors or guards were opened elsewhere on the machine was found to be inoperable meaning that access to moving parts of machinery was further possible.

Sourcing International Limited t/a Drinks Chef, of Unit A1 Bowbridge Works, Chartwell Drive, Wigston, pleaded guilty to contravening a requirement of Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

The company was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,175.79 at a hearing at Loughborough Magistrates Court on 24 April 2024.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Rebecca Gibson commented: “This tragic incident highlights the duty on employers to ensure machinery, and other work equipment, is safe for use. Suitable guards would render dangerous parts of machinery inaccessible during normal use and would have avoided this serious injury to Mr Richardson.”

In other news, the owner of Hogs Back Brewery has purchased Mondo Brewing Company for an undisclosed amount.

Related topics Legal Drinks

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