£7,000 Fine For Leeds Chocolate Maker Who Failed Employee
Accidents at work can range from a slip, trip or fall to something more severe like the case we're highlighting today. When something as serious as a limb is lost at work, it is important that you consider if someone else was at fault and whether a claim should therefore be pursued.
Left Thumb Sliced OffPecan Candy Deluxe (Europe) Ltd
, a chocolate and fudge manufacturer in Leeds has been found responsible of causing a worker to lose her thumb after safety precautions were not met
The 46 year old female employee had not been fully trained
and was cleaning a chocolate hopper machine for the first time without help or supervision. As she moved the stirrer with the control buttons, her left thumb became trapped and was sliced off.
Although her thumb was surgically reattached, it will never be the same again. Due to the accident, she had to relearn how to write and everyday tasks are now a struggle.
When Leeds Magistrates heard the case, it was discovered that the whole incident could have been avoided had the company fitted a simple interlocked guard
prior to the accident. This is something they did following the accident which goes to show how simple a task it was to complete.
This wasn't the first time the company had been warned about their health and safety standards. Back in 2012 they had received an Improvement Notice from the HSE
about the guarding of mixers following an inspection.
Fatalities Can and Do Happen
The HSE inspector involved in the case commented that too many employees are injured; "limbs are lost and even fatalities can and do happen because employers fail to guard machinery adequately. Employees must also be well trained and supervised."
Incidents like this just highlight how easy health and safety can be if companies are willing to work with the HSE to improve their working practices. Pecan Candy Deluxe (Europe) Ltd was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay the injured worker £627 in costs.