Safety Signs News

Biscuit firm fined after worker's fingers sliced off

2nd August 2010 | Warning Signs

Posted by Nicole Stevens.

A biscuit company has been fined £10,000 after one of its workers sliced two fingers off in a machine.

The operative, who was working at the McVities Cake Company in Halifax, lost the two fingers when she tried to clear a blockage in a mixing machine.

Scaling a ladder to reach the machine, the worker had to empty the mixture causing the blockage and then restart the device. Unfortunately the blades were still in motion when the woman put her hand into the industrial mixer.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), United Biscuits (UK) Ltd pleaded guilty to section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Alongside the £10,000 fine it was ordered to pay costs of £2,889.

Rachel Brittain, inspector for the HSE, said the incident was "absolutely unacceptable": "Preventing access to moving parts and fitting guards is an elementary and essential precautionary measure and inexpensive. By not putting these measures in place United Biscuits failed to fulfill its duty of care to its employees."

Other precautions, like ensuring warning signs are in place, could also be taken to improve safety.


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