Chicken Hatchery Horror Story: Why Dangerous Machines need Guarding

Horror story: Why Guarding is needed for Dangerous Machines

A worker in Southampton suffered serious injuries because of a lack of proper guarding around a conveyor belt machine at work.

Andrew House is a Supervisor at Faccenda Foods where the accident took place on the 17th March 2014. The accident at work occurred when Mr House was cleaning the area around the conveyor belt machine at the Hampshire chicken hatchery business in Romsey. His left hand was dragged into the ‘running nip’ of the conveyor belt and he was unable to reach the controls so a colleague had to press the emergency stop for him.

After seven days in hospital, two operations and several months off work Mr House was able to return to work. However, he has limited use of his left hand and must take physiotherapy in order to help increase his mobility. An investigation was launched by the Health and Safety Executive because of the serious injury this accident at work caused.

The investigation discovered that the dangerous nip in the belt of the conveyor belt machine was unguarded. This is a serious safety failing and as such Faccenda Foods were prosecuted. The Chicken Hatchery was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £2,909.25 in costs.

This work accident highlights why guarding is so important. Guarding protects workers from being pulled into machines and suffering crush injuries or loss of limbs. The law requires businesses to manage the risks of using work equipment.
Employers must take effective measures to protect their workers from dangerous parts of machinery. Fixed guarding should be in place to protect workers from dangerous machines. Faccenda Foods breached the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 by their lack of guarding around the hazardous conveyor belt machine.

Workplaces should have adequate guarding on all dangerous machines to ensure that workers are protected from gruesome accidents at work. When access to dangerous machinery is needed on a regular basis, interlocked guards are needed to stop any moving parts before a worker puts their hands into the machine.

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