A leading health company has been fined after an employee lost his finger in a machinery accident. The incident took place in a factory in East Yorkshire when the worker was operating a blending machine to mix products. However, the employee was unaware that a fixed guard on the machine had been removed along with a valve that needed a maintenance work.
Bridlington Magistrates heard that another employee had taken the valve off the blender to clean, but found it needed a new part, and subsequently did not reattach it. However, while the part was waiting to be replaced the machine continued to be used with a plastic bag to collect the product.
Days later, an unsuspecting worker was using the blender despite missing guard because he was not notified of any danger. As he attempted to make a hole in a plastic bag, his fingers were caught in the rotating blades. As a result, the employee's index finger needed to be amputated and he also left with severe cuts and nerve damage to the middle finger.
The health company, Bee Health Ltd, manufactures health products and owns a variety of well known brands. In response to the accident, the business pleaded guilty to two safety breaches brought by HSE. Bee Health Ltd were fined a total of £7,000 and ordered to pay HSE costs of £4,887.65.
On hearing the result, HSE Inspector Denise Fotherham, said:
"The company didn't look at the risks involved with operating the blender. As a result, no one knew the valve should not be removed, not even the regular machine operator. "
"Bee Health also took no steps to prevent the machine being used if the valve was taken off, such as an interlock. A simple measure like that and adequate instructions for employees would have meant a worker not suffering this debilitating injury."
Helen Grieves, founder and principal at Grieves Solicitors, also voiced her concerns, saying:
"Unfortunately, as personal injury solicitors, we often see cases of this nature. This is why we understand that it is the employer's responsibility to implement health and safety procedures to protect staff. When negligence results in a serious accident, the victim should always seek the compensation that they deserve"
Based in Huddersfield, Grieves Solicitors specialise in asbestos-related illness compensation claims. Helen Grieves is a qualified solicitor with a Diploma in Advanced Litigation from Leeds Metropolitan University and a Master Degree in Advanced Litigation from Nottingham Trent University. For more information, visit their website: http://www.grieves-solicitors.co.uk/.
Phone: 0800 0747 644
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