Hand lacerations cost butchery firm £18k

A butchery firm was fined £18k for hand lacerations

A butchery firm has been fined £18,000 for safety failings, after a worker suffered deep lacerations to his hand.

Bristol Magistrates Court heard how the worker from The Butchers at Clifton was cutting beef bones on a band saw at the time of the incident when he suffered deep lacerations to his left hand.

The safety devices provided on the band saw were not in use at the time of the incident, as the worker was not properly trained on how to use them. 

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the butchery firm had not provided the right training to the worker in order to enable him to complete the task safely.

Failed to assess the risks

The company also failed to assess the risks posed by the task, or have the appropriate level of supervision in place when this task was being carried out.

The Butchers at Clifton Ltd of Portwall Place, Portwall Lane, Bristol pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The firm was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,343.

HSE inspector Tania Nickson said: “The company failed to appropriately train the staff member and failed to use the supplied safety features which would have prevented this incident from happening. The worker is fortunate not to have suffered more severe injuries.”

‘Failed to use supplied safety features’

Meanwhile, crisp manufacturer Tayto was fined £330,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,752.23 last month, after a worker lost the tops of three fingers.

Northampton Crown Court heard how the worker at Tayto Group Ltd was clearing a blockage of material from a machine when his right hand came into contact with shears, severing three fingers below the first knuckle.

HSE inspector Michelle Morrison said this was an entirely preventable incident and manufacturers should have more robust systems to ensure guards are in place, to prevent serious injury. 

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