Salad firm fined after worker breaks forearm
Posted by Nicole Stevens.
The importance of a safety sign has been highlighted after a Staffordshire-based packaged salads firm was fined £10,000 after a man broke his forearm when it was pulled into a moving conveyor.
The 29-year-old worker was cleaning the machine, which had only been installed six months prior, at Soleco UK's site in Lichfield, in March last year, Tamworth Magistrates' Court heard. Soleco trades as Florette.
His right arm was pulled into the conveyor, breaking his forearm and fracturing his thumb and index finger.
The conveyor was inadequately guarded, a subsequent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found. The court was told it would only cost £600 to fit an adequate guard.
In addition to the fine, Soleco was ordered to pay £2,587 costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Christia Killen said the incident, which caused permanent injury to the employee, was preventable.
"If Soleco UK had operated a more rigorous purchasing policy system for checking and commissioning new equipment, its supplier could have fitted the guards before the machine was put into use."
"Once Soleco UK had discovered that the conveyor was not properly guarded, nobody should have used the machine until the fault had been corrected," she added.
Last year, a Liverpool moulding firm was fined after one of its workers suffered serious injuries to his left hand when it came into contact with a rotating saw.
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