Bagel factory worker severs fingers in machinery

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bread

A UK-based bagel bakery has been fined after a worker severed two of his fingers in “unsafe” machinery while attempting to clear a dough blockage.

The firm, Ixxy's Bagels, of Harley Street, London, was ordered to pay £2,250 with £9,719 costs for the November 2007 incident.

The court heard that Mr Raakesh Patel, 26, was injured at the Ixxy's factory when a rotating blade of a bagel dividing machine continued to move even when the rear doors were opened. The blade severed the middle and ring fingers on Patel’s right hand down to the knuckle.

Aware of fault

The firm pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 in that it was aware that the equipment was faulty at the time of the incident.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Ixxy's failed to take adequate steps to prevent Patel from using the machine.

After sentencing, HSE Inspector, Jack Wilby said: "Ixxy's Bagels were aware of the fault on the machine, at least two days before the incident and failed to take adequate steps to protect their staff. This is another unfortunate reminder to employers, that you have a duty to maintain your work equipment."

Tower bakery fine

Another UK-based bakery was fined last December after a worker’s fingers were crushed in the rollers of a dough sheeter machine.

The firm, Tower Bakery Limited of Shore Road, Perth, Scotland was ordered to pay £4000 for the March 2008 incident.

The company pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, in that it failed to assess the risks to workers when cleaning the dough sheeter and that it failed to give employees sufficient training, supervision, information and instruction for the task of cleaning the machine.

An HSE spokesperson previously told sister publication BakeryandSnacks.com that there were 83,000 serious or reportable injuries in the UK food and beverage sector in the past 10 years to April 2009. “The figures add up to 160 injuries each week and include 33 fatal accidents – most involving falls​,” said the spokesperson.

Related topics Regulation & Safety

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