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Food business fined £230,000 after worker loses hand

A major European food business producing raw and prepared chicken products has been fined £230,000 after two incidents at its Suffolk factory, one of which led to an employee losing his right hand.

Night shift supervisor Shaun Alexander, 42, from Kesingland in Suffolk, was helping a member of his team to clean equipment at the 2 Sisters Food Group's plant at Flixton, near Bungay, in December 2009 when his hand was pulled into two rotating cogs and crushed. A safety guard had been removed from the machinery.

A month later, in January 2010, fork lift driver Malcolm Raven, 54, from Lowestoft, was left in charge of a pre-slaughter area for chickens. He entered an enclosure to clear a blockage in the system and his arm was trapped and broken. The company had fitted a by-pass device to over-ride a safety control that would have prevented this happening.

2 Sisters Food Group, based at West Bromwich in the West Midlands, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over the incidents. The company admitted two counts at Norwich Crown Court today under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined a total of £230,000 and ordered to pay costs of £24,350.

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