Company Found Liable for a Work Injury due to a Lack of Training

A Derbyshire food company has received a significant fine after it was found negligent and liable for a work injury due to a lack of training.

The injury occurred to a male employee working in the Loscoe Chilled Foods plant in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, in November 2011 when he attempted to remove meat which was stuck between the blades of a mincing machine.

The employee removed the safety guard of the machine even though the blades had not yet stopped turning and severed the top of his left index finger. The man was rushed to hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to connect the tip of his index finger and was absent from work for three weeks because of his injury.

The injury was reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under RIDDOR regulations, and a consequent investigation found that, although the safety guard protecting the blades on the meat mincing machine was in working order, it should only have been removed using a specific method which the employee had not be trained to do.

The HSE found that Loscoe Chilled Foods were responsible for the employee´s accident and work injury due to a lack of training and in breach of Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 11 of the provision and Use of Work Equipment Act 1998.

At South Derbyshire Magistrates Court the company pleaded guilty to being in breach of the regulations, and, after hearing that a previous HSE inspection had identified the risk of a work injury due to a lack of training, Magistrates fined Loscoe Chilled Foods £16,000 for their breach of the law and a further £16,192 in costs.