A Merseyside based food company has been fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1178 after breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) successfully prosecuted the company after an incident at a Berkshire site caused significant hand injuries.
The HSE told Reading Magistrates’ Court that the worker was using a sugar dispensing machine. While he was using the machine he noticed the sugar was not flowing properly. When putting his hand in the chute to break up any clumps, the valve shut off and clamped down on his hand.
The employee suffered a fractured hand and a lacerated finger.
After the case was heard, HSE Inspector Leon Donovan said:
“[The company] should have carried out a proper assessment of the risks involved in the operation and maintenance of their sugar dispensing machine.”
“This would have identified the issues that lead to this unfortunate accident which could have been avoided if the company had fitted a simple inexpensive fixed guard to prevent access to a dangerous automatic sliding sluice valve.”