A UK confectionery manufacturer has been fined for safety breaches after a worker's hand was crushed in machinery, another case in which inadequate machine guard measures proved a factor.
The 28 year-old worker, who does not wish to be named, was running a machine at Tilley's Sweets in Thrapston, Northamptonshire, on June 9 2011 when the machine got jammed.
He put in his hand to remove the sweets but the glove on his right hand got caught, pulling his hand into the dangerous moving parts.
The man's hand was severely damaged and required several operations to straighten the tendons. He was off work for four months and continues to have physiotherapy and struggles with use of his damaged hand.
Local magistrates in Kettering, Northamptonshire, heard that a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Tilley's Sweets failed to protect the safety of their employees by not preventing access to dangerous parts of machinery. A guard would have prevented the incident from happening, the HSE claimed.
After the event occurred, the HSE served a prohibition notice halting further work on the machine until the firm put a safety guard in place.
String of accidents
The incident is the latest in a string of accidents, which have occurred in UK food factories as a result of a failure to ensure machine safety guards were in place.
Earlier this month the HSE reported the conclusion of a case involving a man losing his thumb at a crisp factory while cleaning an unguarded machine.
In January, a woman lost a fingertip while clearing a blockage in a hopper with a modified guard. And in December, a man working for a dumpling manufacturer severely injured his fingers in a dough mixer and the HSE said adding an appropriate guard would have helped prevent the incident.
Tilley's Sweets of Springfields, Oundle Road, Thrapston pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1988 and was fined £1,500 with costs of £5,175.
Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Elizabeth Hornsby said: "This incident was debilitating and traumatic for the employee yet a simple guard would have stopped this from happening.
"Organisations have a duty to protect their workforce and HSE will not hesitate to prosecute those who break the law in this way."