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Worker lost tips of her fingers - Wakefield based food company fined more than £6,000

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A food company has been fined after a worker lost the tips of two fingers while using unguarded machinery at a bakery.

Solway Foods Ltd, based at Trinity Business Park, Wakefield, was ordered to pay more than £6,000 following the incident at its Avana Bakeries site in Rogerstone, Newport, Wales.

The unnamed agency worker was cleaning cake mixture from a pipe by hand when her fingers got caught in part of the pump mechanism, severing the tips of the index and middle fingers of her right hand, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said.

The worker was still suffering pain as a result of the incident, which happened on September 19 last year, and had problems with daily tasks like brushing her hair and writing.

Solway was prosecuted at Newport magistrates’ court and pleaded guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.

The firm was fined £2,400 and ordered to pay £4,373 in costs in court last Friday.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Joanne Carter said: “Solway Foods clearly failed to ensure the safety of its workers, with very painful consequences for this agency worker.

“It is particularly disappointing that the company in this case had recognised the risk but had failed to guard all the pumps to the same standard.

“In the case of machinery, moving parts that could cause injury should be guarded or other safety mechanisms installed to cut the power to the machine so that people cannot come into contact with them.

“Non-routine operations such as cleaning or maintenance are not exempt from this requirement.”

 

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