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Man crushes his hand in machinery at Coventry meat factory

A Coventry meat factory has been fined more than £300,000 after one of its workers crushed his hand in machinery.

The 22-year-old worker was loading meat into the machine when he fell and his hand went inside the device at Beckett’s Foods’ Moat House base in Coventry.

The man suffered serious injuries to his hand which later required surgery and skin grafts.

Coventry Magistrates’ Court heard that the accident happened on 11 May last year when the worker was using the meat separating machine.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to implement a safe system of work for separating the meat using this machinery.

It was also found the company failed to equip the machinery with the appropriate level of guarding to protect the workers from harm.

Beckett’s Foods pleaded guilty to breaching sections of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and was fined £366,666 and ordered to pay costs of £10,978.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Christopher Maher said: “This case highlights the dangers of failing to assess risk.

“All duty holders must ensure that all dangerous machinery has the appropriate level of guarding in place to avoid serious injury like in this case.”

A company spokesman for Beckett’s Foods said: “The health, safety and welfare of our employees is a top priority for us and this injury was the first serious incident in over 30 years of business.

“Both the HSE and the judge concurred that our safety procedures were very effective at the time of the accident and were satisfied that this was an isolated incident, that has now been addressed. Our processes are continually reviewed to ensure employees work in a safe environment.”

Source - Coventry Telegraph
April 2017