Worker loses tops of fingers in bakery blunder

A Burnley bakery was successfully prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive following an incident whereby a worker lost the tips of two of his fingers.

The bakery worker was feeding a cheese and onion mixture into a pasty-making machine when his right hand was injured by the machines pistons which severed the tops of two fingers on his right hand.

The incident, which happened in September 2012, prompted an investigation by the HSE who then found that part of the machines guard had been moved to enable staff to add fillings while it was still operating.  This guard was moved to make the process quicker because it meant you didn’t need to slow down the machinery.

HSE Inspector David Myrtle said: “The injuries suffered by the employee have had a significant impact on his life but his injuries could have been even worse.

“If the machine had been set up with larger pistons, as it was on some days, he could easily have lost all of his fingers.”  He went on to say,

“The machine was entirely safe to use when it was installed but, by overriding an essential safety feature to speed up production, the company exposed employees to an unacceptable and entirely avoidable level of risk…It is vital manufacturing companies put the health and safety of their staff before profits, otherwise incidents like this will continue to happen in the future.”

The bakery was found guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 Act and fined £1,000 and has also been ordered to pay £5,002 in prosecution costs.

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