£274,000 fine for a food manufacturer due to Health and Safety failures

    20 February 2019 | Rianda Markram

    £274,000 fine for a food manufacturer due to Health and Safety failures

     A food manufacturer of Norfolk has been sentenced following two separate incidents where workers suffered serious injuries after becoming trapped in moving machinery. 

    In the first incident the employee trapped his thumb in a moving shackle shortly after being shown how to remove chicken intestines. As the line was running, he was pulled away from the emergency stop cord and when it moved past a fixed gate his thumb was severed.

    A few months later another employee entered an area of the factory that should have had the power isolated before cleaning activities commenced. The HSE investigation found that a safe system of work was not being followed and the shackle line was still running when his finger became trapped. As he could not reach the emergency stop his finger was severed.

    The investigation concluded that the company had failed to ensure that measures were in place to mitigate the consequences of a worker becoming entrapped in a shackle in the first instance and that they failed to ensure safe isolation procedures were followed in the second.

    The company, 2 Sisters Food Group Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Works Equipment Regulations 1998 in relation to the first incident and has been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,031.83.

    In respect of the second incident, it pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £74,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,386.52.

    This feature was written in collaboration with the lawyers at Markel Law, who regularly comment on SME related matters. You can stay up to date with the latest legal changes on the Markel Law Blog, written in plain English, so that you understand the implications that is has for you as a small business owner.

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