Meat firm to pay nearly £380k for crushed hand

Beckett’s Foods Ltd was ordered to pay nearly £380,000

A meat business has been ordered to pay nearly £380,000, after a worker’s hand was crushed in a meat-separating machine.

Beckett’s Foods Ltd was prosecuted at Coventry Magistrates’ Court following the accident at its Moat House plant in Coventry on May 11 2016.

The 22-year-old worker, who asked not to be named, was loading meat into the machine, when he fell and his hand entered the machine, Coventry Magistrates’ Court was told.

Surgery and skin crafts

He suffered serious injuries to his hand, which later required surgery and skin grafts.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to implement a safe system of work for separating the meat using the machinery involved in the accident.

The company failed to equip the machinery with the appropriate level of guarding to protect workers from harm, the HSE probe revealed.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Christopher Maher said: “This case highlights the dangers of failing to assess risk.

‘Dangerous machinery’

“All duty holders must ensure that all dangerous machinery has the appropriate level of guarding in place to avoid serious injury like in this case.”

Beckett’s Foods Ltd of Moat House, Aldermans Green, Coventry pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 (1) and 33 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The business was fined £366,666 and ordered to pay costs of £10,978.09.

 A spokeswoman for the business told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The health, safety and welfare of our employees is a top priority for us and this injury was the first serious incident in over 30 years of business. 

“Both the HSE and the judge concurred that our safety procedures were very effective at the time of the accident and were satisfied that this was an isolated incident, that has now been addressed. Our processes are continually reviewed to ensure employees work in a safe environment.”

Meanwhile, earlier this month, it emerged that Penrith-based bakery Bells of Lazonby had been ordered to pay more than £70,000, after two workers suffered hand injuries while operating machinery.

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