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Worker's hand injury puts Leeds food company in court

The workers hand injuries after treatment in hospital

A Leeds-based food company has been fined for safety failings after an agency worker had two fingers crushed by hydraulic rams in a sausage roll machine which had a broken guard.

The 26 year-old worker, from Halton, Leeds, was removing filling for pasties from a hopper on the machine at the Excellent Food Company in Meanwood when his fingers came into contact with dangerous moving parts.

Two fingers on his right hand were badly injured. The middle finger has been left with no nerve sensation and his third finger, which had to be stitched back on, has only partial sensation. He will have permanent limitations with his hand as a result.

The incident on 30 March 2012 was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which today (8 March) prosecuted the company at Leeds Magistrates' Court.

The court was told that the agency worker had been employed by Excellent Food Company for only eight weeks before his injury.

He was removing filling from the hopper on the top of the sausage roll machine with a jug. As the jug was too large to get to the bottom, he used his hand as he had seen other employees do. His fingers came into contact with the moving hydraulic rams, crushing two.

HSE found an interlocked guard that should have stopped the movement of dangerous parts was not working. Magistrates were told that HSE had served an Improvement Notice on the company after guarding deficiencies were identified on other machinery during a visit in December 2011.

Excellent Food Company Yorkshire Ltd., of Buslingthorpe Lane, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,688 in full costs after pleading guilty to one offence under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.


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