A Cheshire ice-cream manufacturer has appeared in court after a worker’s finger was cut off by a machine.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Tattenhall Dairy Products Ltd, producer of Cheshire Farm Ice Cream, citing safety failings.
The incident happened in August 2013 when the employee, a 60-year-old woman from Tattenhall, was cleaning the fruit feeder machine ready for the following batch of ice-cream. Chester Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday (26th March) that although the woman, who has asked not to be named, assumed that the machine was off, the rotating blades were in fact still in motion and as she moved pieces of cookie from the back of the machine her index finger got caught in the blades. It was cut off down to just below the second knuckle.
The HSE’s investigation found that although employees had been told that they must switch off the machine whilst cleaning it, no other measures had been put in place to ensure workers safety putting them at significant risk of an accident at work. Should they simply forget, due to basic human error, they were put in extreme danger.
Now, the company has installed an interlocking device on the machine, meaning power is automatically cut once the chute is removed during the cleaning process. Tattenhall Dairy Products Ltd was fined £7,500 for the incident and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £11,287.22 after it pleaded guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
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