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Warburtons faces second 2017 fine of more than £1m ($1.29m) for endangering workers’ safety

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Gill Hyslop

By Gill Hyslop+


Bakery giant Warburtons has been fined for a second time this year for failing to company with safety regulations for its workers. Pic: ©iStock/NicoElNino
Bakery giant Warburtons has been fined for a second time this year for failing to company with safety regulations for its workers. Pic: ©iStock/NicoElNino

The UK bakery giant has been fined £1.9m ($2.45m) after admitting a breach of health and safety rules at its Eastwood factory.

Earlier this year, the company was also fined £2m ($2.58m) after it failed to comply with the Work at Height Regulations, which led to an employee falling 2m from a mixing machine at its Wednesbury plant.

The Nottingham Crown Court issued the latest judgement after hearing that factory worker Wayne Thorpe’s arm got caught between a conveyor belt and moulder in 2015.

He had been cleaning dough that had fallen between tins.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the emergency button failed to stop the conveyor belt. Thorpe was eventually released after engineers dismantled part of the machine.

The incident left him with friction burns that required skin grafts.

Could have been avoided

HSE inspectors found the machine could have been fitted with localised guarding to prevent access between the conveyors.

Warburtons pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. It has been fined £1.9m ($2.45m) and ordered to pay legal costs of over £20,000 (over $25,000)

Steps taken

A company spokesperson said necessary action across all the company’s bakeries has now been taken to prevent this happening again.

“The health and safety of all our people is our first priority and we are deeply saddened that on this occasion our procedures failed to protect Wayne,” he said.

Thorpe died from a pre-existing heart condition and kidney infection two weeks after the accident, although Judge Rosalind Coe QC said the two were not associated.

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