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March 7, 2017

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Animal feed manufacturer fined after worker injures hand

An animal feeds producer has been fined after a mill cleaner suffered a serious hand injury.

Norwich Magistrates’ Court heard that the 64-year-old worker was vacuuming a mill which produces animal feeds at the company’s Saxlingham Thorpe Mill site on 7 April 2016.

When working inside the narrow gantry, he rested his right hand onto the frame of an uncovered slide valve, which opened suddenly. The steel shutter slid along the frame and trapped the man’s little finger.

He was taken to hospital but the severity of his injury meant his little finger had to be amputated.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that metal covers designed to protect workers from dangerous parts were missing from two of the three slide valves at the base of the mixer.

W L Duffield and Sons Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 (1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998. It was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,008.

After the hearing HSE inspector Anthony Brookes said: “This man unnecessarily suffered a life changing injury to his hand due to W L Duffield and Sons’ failure to protect him from dangerous machinery.

This case should act as a reminder to all employers who possess machinery to ensure they have the correct safety measures in place.”

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