Sunday, May 19, 2024

Food processing company fined £20,000 after worker suffers serious injuries

A company has been fined £20,000 after an employee’s arm was drawn into machinery and seriously injured.

The worker, Piotr Zielinski, 58, from Nottinghamshire, was working for food processing company Belwood Foods Limited.

His right arm was drawn into a machine and wrist crushed while cleaning poultry processing machinery at Belwood Food’s site at Lowmoor Business Park, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottingham, on 22 November 2019.

He had been removing debris that was trapped on the hinges of an open access panel door at the base of a hopper machine. The door had been opened to allow the debris to drain from the auger.

While removing the debris however, the auger was still in operation and caught the worker’s right arm, drawing it into the machine up to the elbow.

This led to skin and muscle being removed from Mr Zielinski’s right arm with his wrist also being crushed. His injuries required surgery.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the access panel door was able to be opened freely whilst the auger was in motion. There were no controls in place to prevent the panel from being opened while the auger was moving. It was not locked or interlocked, and there was no safe isolation procedure for this weekly cleaning task.

Belwood Foods Limited, of The Henley Building, Newtown Road, Henley-on-Thames,  Oxfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £7,839.21 in costs at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on 9 October 2023.

HSE inspector Lee Greatorex said: “This injury was easily preventable. Employers have a responsibility to properly assess the risks from all aspects of their operations, including cleaning and maintenance, and implement effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery. HSE will not hesitate to take action against companies which do not do all that they should to keep people safe.”

This prosecution was supported by HSE enforcement lawyer Samantha Wells.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 pandemic having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £31.50 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.

Latest news

Related news

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.