Company fined after worker suffers arm injury

Company fined after Hungarian worker traps arm 25575

A wholesale food distribution firm has been fined after admitting breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Indo European Foods was fined £16,000 at Ipswich Magistrates' Court after an employee trapped his arm in unguarded machinery, leaving him with serious injuries.

Attila Czege was working for the company on September 20th 2012 when his arm was caught in an unguarded conveyor and dragged around a large roller, leaving him with fractures to his upper and lower arm.

The 34-year-old underwent three surgical procedures in two weeks to repair the damage and was forced off work for several months.

A subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the machine had never had the necessary guards in place.

In addition, the firm was warned by the HSE in 2009 that the machine in question needed a guard fitted but the advice was not heeded.

Saffron Turnell, HSE inspector, said that such machines can pose a serious risk to staff wellbeing and urged businesses in the food and drink sector to ensure all steps have been taken to protect employees.

"The dangers associated with conveyors are well known throughout the industry and the guarding of dangerous moving parts is a fundamental element of mechanical safety. Conveyors are involved in 30 per cent of all machinery incidents in the food/drink industries and nine out of ten conveyor injuries occur on flat-bet conveyors," the inspector stated.

Indo European Foods was found guilty of breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

As well as the fine, the company was ordered to pay costs of £910.65 in addition to a victim surcharge of £1,600.

Engineering firm Rolls Royce was also punished in the courts recently after an employee developed bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome after working for the company cleaning turbine blades which exposed him to high levels of hand-arm vibration.

The company was fined £60,000 for breaching the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 and the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

By Chris Stevenson