November 12, 2018

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In Court

Manufacturing firm failed to maintain machine guarding

A dairy company has been fined after a worker’s toe was crushed by an unguarded part of a yoghurt filling machine.

On 30 December 2016, a fixed guard on the front of the machine had been removed. An employee stepped on the frame of machine at the same time as a moving part descended, crushing the employee’s right foot.

The HSE’s investigation revealed that a few days before the incident, a cable had been replaced on the machine but it was the wrong size and protruded out of the machine so the guard could not be fully fixed into position. In addition, due to setting up problems, the guard was regularly being removed whilst the machine was in operation.

Marybelle Pur Natur Limited was found to have failed to ensure that access to dangerous parts of the machine was prevented.

Marybelle Pur Natur Limited of Old Hall Farm, Walpole, near Halesworth pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and has been fined £32,000 with costs of £5,767.09.

Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Saffron Turnell said: “Employers should ensure that effective control measures are taken to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery in all aspects of the use of that machine.

“In this case particular attention was required following maintenance of the machine. Marybelle Pur Natur Limited failed to effectively maintain the guarding of the machine, despite being aware of the risks it presented, and as a result their employee has suffered a serious injury.”

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