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Suffolk factory fined for employees’ personal injuries

04th November 2011

In the first incident, in December 2009, a 42-year-old night-shift supervisor was helping another employee to clean a piece of equipment when his hand was pulled into two rotating cogs and was crushed.

The accident at work caused the employee to lose four of his fingers, part of his thumb and some of the palm of his right hand. It had been reported that a safety guard had been removed from the machinery.

One month later a 54-year-old forklift driver entered an enclosure used as a pre-slaughter area for chickens and was attempting to clear a blockage in the system when his arm became trapped and broken. According to a report, the business had fitted a by-pass device to over-ride a safety control which may have prevented the accident from happening.

The company pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for both incidents and was fined a total of £230,000 with costs of £24,350.

A HSE inspector said, “HSE will not hesitate to take companies, big or small, to court and seek tough penalties when it finds them taking a lax attitude to their workers’ safety.”

She also stated that the employee involved in the first accident would suffer from effects of the personal injury for the rest of his life.

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