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Animal feed manufacturer fined after employee loses arm

An animal feed manufacturer has been prosecuted after a worker lost their hand in an unguarded machine.

John Thompson and Sons Limited, with an address at York Road, Belfast, came before Belfast Crown Court earlier today (Thursday, January 19th, 2023) in connection with the incident.

The Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI) has successfully led a prosecution following an investigation into an incident on December 21st, 2019, that resulted in an agency worker sustaining life-changing injuries.

The company pleaded to the offence and was ordered to pay a fine to the tune of £40,000 for the offences.

The court heard that the HSENI investigation found that the worker was carrying out maintenance on a grain roller machine in an attempt to clear a blockage when his right hand was drawn into two counter-rotating rollers.

The incident caused severe crush injuries to his hand, which later had to be amputated above the wrist.

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Blackburn comments 

Speaking after the hearing, HSENI inspector, Kiara Blackburn said: the serious incident “could easily have been avoided”.

Blackburn, it is “essential” that safe systems of work are developed and implemented to ensure the safety of employees and other people working near dangerous parts of machinery.

During any maintenance activity, she said, machines must always be safely isolated from energy sources to prevent inadvertent start-up.”

She advised that machinery guards can take several forms but, where practicable, use fixed enclosing guards.

In some cases, regular access to dangerous parts of machines may be required, and other guard types, such as interlocking guards, may be “more appropriate”.

Previous article on ag firm fined after employee loses finger

An agricultural firm has been fined after an employee lost a finger when his hand became trapped in a machine.

CYO Seeds Ltd, with an address at Chilton, Oxfordshire, came before Oxford Magistrates’ Court last month.

The incident arose when a male worker was cleaning a machine at a site in Shipbourne, Tonbridge, Kent, on February 10th, 2021, when his glove was caught by a rotating device.

His hand became trapped, and his right index finger was amputated.

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