Horticultural firm fined following safety failings

A Southampton-based fruit firm that failed to protect its employees has been prosecuted for safety failings after a member of staff suffered an accident at work.

General labourer Edmund Skweres required 11 stitches in a deep cut, after his right hand was caught between a metal drive wheel and a guide rail of a root packing machine.

Fareham Magistrates’ Court heard that he was attempting to clear waste around the jaws of the machine when the incident occurred.

The drive wheel cut into his hand through his glove and lacerated the skin between his thumb and forefinger. He was off work for a month as a result of the injury.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that guarding could and should have prevented workers from accessing the moving parts of the root packer.

A E Roberts operated five similar machines, each lacking guarding in this area, and pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 for guarding failures, and was fined GBP 1,000 and ordered to pay GBP 2,000 in costs.

Recent HSE statistics show that in 2010/11, more than 1,000 employees were seriously injured in accidents involving moving machinery.

Posted by Trevor Baker

Horticultural firm fined following safety failings

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