More fines for bakeries neglecting health and safety

Related tags Occupational safety and health

Another UK bakery faced a heavy fine this week after neglecting to
ensure a safe working environment, leading to a worker losing his
arm in an accident with a dough milling machine, wrties Lorraine

Russel Foods in Birmingham was fined £25,000 (€37,500) for breach of health and safety regulations, and a further £3,514 (€5,125) in costs.

The court ruling comes just a week after Tesco was fined £50,000 (€75,000) when a member of staff in one of the supermarket chain's in-store bakeries lost the top of a finger in a dough divider machine.

Kenneth Johnson, bakery worker at Russel Foods, got his arm trapped between the rollers of a dough milling machine as he was cleaning the bowl. His arm was unable to be freed from the machine, and had to be amputated by the emergency services at the scene.

As with the Tesco case, the guard preventing access to the machine was not in place at the time of the accident. An interlocking device, which should have prevented the machine from running with the guard raised, failed to operate because one end of the guard was broken.

Russel Foods, which refused to comment on the incident, was found guilty of failing to ensure that effective measures were taken to prevent access to any dangerous parts of the machine and of failing to make sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of employees. The company was fined £12,500 (€18,750) for each offence.

"This horrific incident demonstrates what can go wrong when safety in the workplace is taken lightly. This fine reflects the grave nature of the offence and must serve as a warning to other firms tempted to cut corners on safety,"​ said Councillor Neil Eustace, council public protection chair.

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