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September 21, 2021

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Firm fined after worker suffered thumb amputation

A food processing company has been sentenced for safety breaches after a production supervisor suffered a serious injury when his hand came into contact with dangerous parts of a potato processing machine.

A supervisor was cleaning out machinery between product runs when his hand came into contact with a rotating auger which was not adequately guarded, Leeds Magistrates’ Court was told. The worker sustained injuries which resulted in a thumb amputation and a broken finger during the incident at Royds Farm Industrial Estate, Farm Road Leeds, on 2 September 2019.

The HSE’s investigation found that access to the dangerous rotating auger was possible because the bagging unit conveyor and auger were not adequately guarded, and the machine did not comply with safety reach distances set out in BS EN 13857.

Troy Foods Ltd of Unit 1 Intermezzo Drive Leeds West Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 (1) of the Provision and Use of work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company has been fined £33,333 and ordered to pay £670.53 in costs and a victim surcharge of £180.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Julian Franklin commented: “Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.

“This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.”

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