Egg packing firm 'exposed workers to risk of injury'
Posted by Jason Nicholls.
A Banff-based egg packing firm has been fined £3,000 for exposing its workers to the risk of serious injury at its premises in Brechin, highlighting the importance of health and safety signage.
Employees of the partnership, known as James Gammie, were at risk of injury from a poorly-guarded machine used to clear away chicken manure, a site visit by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found.
Forfar Sheriff Court heard that a HSE inspector visited the Leightonhill Farm base in November 2008 and found that the guarding on the machine, known as a screw conveyor, did not sufficiently prevent access to its moving parts.
The screw conveyor was used two or three times a week, placing employees at significant risk of injury by becoming entangled in the machinery, the HSE said.
James Gammie was fined after pleading guilty to one breach of Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
"Unguarded machinery continues to be a major cause of serious incidents. This case shows that where HSE inspectors find blatant disregard for the law they will not hesitate to take action against those responsible for creating the risk," Peter Dodd, the HSE's principal inspector, said.
"In many cases, including this one, simple and inexpensive solutions are readily available to protect those who have to work with machinery and there is no excuse for them not to be in place."
This month, a firm was fined after one of its workers had his hand drawn into a moulding machine. The employee's finger and thumb were sawn off as a result.
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