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August 16, 2011

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Meat producer failed to act on safety advice

A pork products manufacturer has admitted failing to install guarding on a mincing machine involved in a finger-severing incident, despite receiving warnings from a health and safety manager about the dangers.

The incident took place at Tulip Ltd’s factory in Ruskington, East Midlands on 10 December 2009. The company, which is reported to be the UK’s largest producer of pork products, took over the site in 2007 and found a number safety concerns. During a risk assessment on one of the mincing machines, the firm’s health and safety manager instructed the machine to be taken out of service until an interlock gate was installed on access stairs that led to the machine’s mixing bowl. But no action was taken to prevent workers from being able to access this part of the machine.

On the day of the incident, a 60-year-old worker was adding seasoning to cured meat, which was inside the mixer. He noticed a blue piece of plastic in the mixture and when he reached inside the bowl to remove it his hand was trapped against the side of the machine by the rotating mixing paddles. The paddles continued to move and severed his middle and index fingers, as well as causing permanent damage to his ring finger. He underwent multiple operations but surgeons were unable to reattach the two fingers. They also removed the nerve endings in the other finger to prevent him being in constant pain.€

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10 years ago

So, a company that regularly flouts H&S legislation and ignores the advice given by H&S professionals is given a slap on the wrist! What deterent is there for other companies when Magistrates fail to apply the possible sentences. This is a failure by the Magistrate to understand the basis of “reasobnably foreseeable” and “reasonably practicable” and then properly punish a company and individuals that place profits and production far higher than employee safety!

10 years ago

Not the first time an H&S advisor has been “overlooked”. Good practice is for the H&SA to use a brought forward book and refer up. i.e. report, remind after say 3 mnth then escalate up and up with a final to the Director named for H&S and CEO after that the LA/HSE and a possible career move! (I have never yet had to reach the CEO!)

10 years ago

Yet another joke…simply not good enough, Magistrates need to grow a pair!