Brothers drinks company fined for worker injury

Brothers drinks company fined for worker injury 25454

Brothers - a well known UK alcoholic beverage producer - has been fined after a worker was injured in an accident.

An unnamed 52-year-old was working an evening shift at the Anglo Trading Estate in Shepton Mallet when the incident happened on July 12th 2012.

As he was conducting a patrol around the facility the man found a blockage in a depalletising machine, but as he put his hand inside the equipment to attempt to identify the cause of the stoppage, his hand and clothes were caught in the moving parts.

Even though the worker managed to pull his arm back out of the machine, he suffered multiple life-threatening cuts, including one to an artery, which was completely severed.

Doctors managed to save the man's life, but he is now at heightened risk of blood clots and has been treated for post traumatic stress disorder, which could have long term impacts on his mental health.

After hearing of the work accident the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) sent its investigators to see if there was anything untoward at the Brothers site.

Inspectors found the firm had made some alterations to the access of the depalletiser, but had failed to install an interlocking device or guard to prevent workers from accessing the machinery while it was still running.

It was also discovered that the injured employee was covering for another staff member at the time of the accident but was not given information on how the devices in that section of the factory worked, nor training on how to repair the depalletiser.

Brothers Drinks admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay £12,859 in costs.

HSE inspector Fiona Coffey said: "This entirely preventable incident could have led to the employee's death and has left him in a great deal of pain.

"Had the equipment been properly risk assessed by Brothers Drinks after the modifications had been made, the absence of an interlock would have been identified."

Posted by Chris Stevenson