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Leading UK snack food manufacturer in court

The block of compacted waste that injured a Walkers Snack Foods employeeWalkers Snack Foods Ltd. has been fined after a 400 kilogramme block of compacted snack waste fell on a worker, breaking his leg.

The employee was working as a forklift truck driver at the company's site in Newark Road, Lincoln, when the incident happened on 17 December 2010. He was trying to put the block into a wheeled bin when the bin overturned and the compacted waste landed on him, fracturing his lower left leg.

On 17 September, Lincoln Magistrates' Court heard that waste pellets from the Quavers production line ran off a machine into a magnum bin - a large plastic box with slots underneath for the forks of a forklift truck. The pellets solidified into a large block, which could not be dug out of the magnum so the worker and a colleague used the forklift to turn the magnum over so the block fell out.

But as the block was then lifted into the wheeled bin, it became stuck at the top. When the two men attempted to move the bin, it tipped over causing the block of pellets to fall onto the employee.

He was off work for 15 weeks but has since returned to work with the company.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told magistrates that the work had not been properly planned, supervised or carried out in a safe manner.

Walkers Snack Foods Ltd., of Theale, Reading, Berkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined a total of £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.


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