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January 28, 2011

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Bakery allowed employees to continue using faulty machine

A worker severed two fingers while operating a faulty machine at a bagel bakery in London.

City of London Magistrates’ Court heard that the incident took place at Ixxy’s Bagels’ factory in Park Royal, north-west London, in November 2007. Raakesh Patel, 26, was clearing a dough blockage from a bagel dividing machine when his right hand came into contact with the machine’s rotating blade, which severed his middle and ring fingers down to the knuckle.

The HSE’s investigation found that the blade continued to rotate even when the machine’s rear doors were opened, which should have triggered the blade to stop moving. HSE inspector Jack Wilby discovered the company was actually aware of the fault but had taken no steps to remove the danger.

He said: “Work equipment must be maintained in an efficient state and in good working order. Ixxy’s Bagels failed to do this, resulting in one of their employees severing the tips of two of his fingers.

“Ixxy’s Bagels were aware of the fault on the machine at least two days before the incident and failed to take adequate steps to protect their staff. This is another unfortunate reminder to employers that you have a duty to maintain your work equipment. Failure to do so can result in serious personal injury, as we have witnessed with this young man.”

Ixxy’s Bagels appeared in court on 25 January and pleaded guilty to breaching reg.5 (1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. It was fined £2250 and ordered to pay £9719 in costs.

The firm had no previous convictions and entered an early guilty plea. It fully cooperated with the investigation and expressed its remorse for the incident,

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