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  • Writer's pictureRobert Spicer

Newport Bakery Injury: Unguarded Machinery

Amputated fingers: £2400 fine

Health and Safety Executive v Solway Foods Ltd (2014) Newport magistrates’ court, August 15 Solway Foods Ltd has been prosecuted following an incident in which a worker lost the tips of two fingers. Significant points of the case • In September 2013 a female employee of Solway, who wishes to remain anonymous, was working at the company’s Avana Bakeries site in Rogerstone, Newport. • She was cleaning cake mixture from a pipe by hand when her fingers were caught in part of the pump mechanism. The tips of her index and middle fingers of her right hand were severed. • The company had placed bars over the inlet and outlet parts of most of the other pumps in the bakery but had failed to do this on the pump involved in the incident. The company was fined £2400 plus £4300 costs for a breach of regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, for failing to prevent access to a dangerous part of machinery. An HSE inspector is reported to have made the following comments after the case: • Blockages of moving machinery are common occurrences in the food industry and employees will often try to remove them or clean them while a machine is moving. If access to dangerous parts is not prevented, they can be badly injured. • Moving parts which could cause injury should be guarded or other safety mechanisms installed to cut power to the machine so that people cannot come into contact with them. Non-routine operations such as cleaning or maintenance are not exempt from this requirement.

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