Bromsgrove firm fined after worker has fingers severed

By Tristan Harris 24/04 Updated: 26/04 13:22

A BROMSGROVE egg company has been ordered to pay almost £20,000 after an employee severed two of his fingers whilst working there.

The incident, involving the 25-year-old, happened at Bumble Hole Foods Ltd, Fockbury, on August 26, 2010.

The man lost part of his index and middle fingers on his right hand when they were sliced by a heavy duty blade, while he was cleaning a drain on a production line.

During an investigation into the incident, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the risks of cleaning around the blade had not been sufficiently assessed or controlled, meaning employees were able to reach dangerous moving parts while the blade was running.

Redditch Magistrates' Court was also told that, after a similar incident at Bumble Hole Foods in 2008, the firm was made aware of the risks.

It was also stated the training for the work was carried out by employees who were not qualified to train others.

Bumble Hole Foods Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. It was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,303.

Speaking after today's hearing, HSE inspector Christopher Gregory said the incident was entirely foreseeable and easily preventable.

"The risks of cleaning around the drain had not been adequately assessed or controlled so unfortunately, a much larger price has been paid, not least by their employee.

“This case shows the importance of learning from mistakes and ensuring that formal advice from the HSE is not ignored.

"Employers have a duty to act on their findings.

"If Bumble Hole Foods had taken prompt action after the previous incident, this could so easily have been avoided.”

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