Worker loses tips of fingers in bagging machine

A firm has been investigated by the HSE and fined after one of its employees had the tips of two fingers severed after getting them trapped in a salad bagging machine.

The accident happened when an employee was working on the machine, ensuring it didn’t jam. Unfortunately the employee reached into the machine to pull film through the machine and it is then that the heat seal and cutting jaws gripped down injuring him.

The Health and Safety Executives investigation found that the firm had made amendments to the machinery and had cut a hole to allow larger bags of salad to be bagged. By created a bigger access, this allowed enough room for the worker to get their hand into a dangerous part of the machine.

The Magistrates’ Court heard how the operator’s left middle and ring fingers had the tips amputated as a result of the incident and ruled that the company was guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), and was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,088.

An HSE inspector on the case commented: “Cutting a hole in the guards led to access to dangerous parts being possible. The company had not properly considered the risks from making this alteration.”

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