Prosecutions

Guarding checks could have saved workers’ fingers

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A livestock feed manufacturer has been fined after an employee lost part of his fingers in a machine at a Carlisle feed mill.


On 11 February 2019, a maintenance engineer was clearing rainwater in the pit when his gloved hand contacted the chain drive of a conveyor, Carlisle Magistrates’ Court heard. The chain dragged his fingers into the nip where the chain winds around a sprocket severing the ends of three fingers on his right hand.

An investigation by HSE found that the company had failed to ensure the guard was on the chain drive. It had not been in place for some months and a further opportunity was subsequently missed to replace it following a breakdown repair, carried out on the conveyor five days prior to the incident.

NWF Agriculture Ltd of Nantwich, Cheshire pleaded guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 11(1). The company was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,098.

Speaking after the hearing, investigating HSE inspector Matthew Tinsley said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided had checks been carried out to ensure control measures were in place and safe working practices followed.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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