Butchers Fined for a Work Injury due to the Lack of Protective Equipment

A butcher´s firm in Lewisham, South-East London, has received a fine from Westminster Magistrates after an employee suffered an avoidable work injury due to the lack of protective equipment.

The employee – who did not wish to be named – was deboning a lamb shoulder at Rare Butchers of Distinction in July 2012, when the knife he was using slipped and made a ‘deep and painful cut’ into his left forearm.

The man was rushed to Lewisham General Hospital, where he underwent an emergency operation. He was off work for three months thereafter; during which time he had to undergo intense physiotherapy to recover the strength in his left hand and thumb.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the accident found that the employee had only been provided with a wrist-length chain mail glove for his non-knife hand and, had he been given an elbow-length glove, the injury could have been avoided.

The HSE took Rare Butchers of Distinction to court for failing to conduct a thorough risk assessment and provide their employee with suitable protection from possible injury under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992. The company were also charged with failing to report a work injury due to the lack of protective equipment within the legally required 10-day limit.

At Westminster Magistrates Court, the company pleaded guilty to offences against both the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 and the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) Act 1995 and were fined £2,750 with costs of £3,690.