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Bacon curing firm fined after worker's fingers severed

A Walsall bacon curing company has been fined after an employee lost three fingers while operating machinery.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted John Cox Cold Stores and Distribution Services Ltd., trading as Midland Bacon Company, after Daniel Wilfred severed three fingers when his hand became trapped in a packaging machine.

On 4 July, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard that Mr. Wilfred, aged 20, from Walsall, was walking through the company's curing department on 23 December 2009 when he saw bacon joint packs falling to the floor from the cutting unit.

In an attempt to prevent this, he stood to the side of the conveyor, leaned over and put his left hand into the cutting unit.

However, the machine was still switched on and Mr. Wilfred's hand became trapped between the machine and the cutting blades, resulting in the loss of three fingers up to the first joint.

The firm, based at Leamore Lane, Bloxwich, pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £31,000 costs.


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