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Tayyabah Bakery, a Burnley-based pasty-maker, has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a worker severed two of his fingers in a work accident.
Reedley Magistrates' Court heard an unnamed 35-year-old man was working with a machine that was meant to fill pasties with cheese and onion when the accident took place.
However, as he did this his right hand was struck by one of the pistons and drawn inside the inner-components of the machine and two of his fingers were cut off.
The man has now been off work for almost a year and still experiences pain in his fingers. It's unlikely he will be able to return to work in the near future, such is the extent of the discomfort he feels on a daily basis.
HSE officials visiting the site after the accident found that the pasty filling machine had originally been fitted with a guard, but that it was cut away five years before the unnamed worker's injuries were sustained.
For its part in the work accident, Tayyabah Bakery was fined £1,000 and told to pay £5,002 in prosecution costs after it pleaded guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 by failing to prevent access to dangerous machine parts.
Speaking after the case's conclusion, HSE inspector David Myrtle said, "The machine was entirely safe to use when it was installed but, by overriding an essential safety feature to speed up production, the company exposed employees to an unacceptable and entirely avoidable level of risk.
"It's vital manufacturing companies put the health and safety of their staff before profits, otherwise accidents like this will continue to happen in the future."
Similar cases to this have seen equipment manufacturers prosecuted by the HSE because their failure to create equipment with the necessary safeguards installed, but in this case it was the fault of the bakery as it had overridden the guarding mechanism.
By Francesca Witney
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