A judge has ordered a meat production company to pay over £460,000 after a 63-year-old security guard at an abattoir was seriously injured by a vehicle passing through the site gate.
Earlier this week, Plymouth Magistrates Court heard that the security guard was working for an independent security company.
Her duties included operating the gates to allow delivery vehicles to enter and exit the site.
She was on duty at the gated entrance of the Dunbia (UK) abattoir at Hatherleigh, near Okehampton, Devon early on the morning of November 29th, 2018 when the incident occurred.
The security guard sustained “serious” leg and head injuries requiring surgery when she was hit by a vehicle towing a trailer leaving the site. She was holding the gate open at the time, the court heard.
Unsafe work system
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the work system was “unsafe”.
Moreover, the company’s risk assessments did not extend to the security guards. Risks had “not been adequately assessed or controlled”.
Although there was a “high” volume of vehicle movements on-site, there was no segregation between the vehicle routes and pedestrians on site.
Dunbia (UK), of Castle Street, Exeter, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
The judge ordered the firm to pay a fine of £440,000, costs of £27,016 and a victim surcharge of £170.
54-year-old will ‘never walk again’ after attempting to dislodge turkey
Meanwhile, Bernard Matthew’s Food Ltd has been handed a fine totalling £400,000 following two separate incidents where employees were seriously injured.
Colin Frewin was left permanently paralysed and underwent a six-month stint in hospital following an incident at the firm’s Suffolk-based manufacturing plant.
Chelmsford Crown Court recently heard that Frewin suffered multiple serious injuries, including a pierced left lung, several broken ribs, four fractured vertebrae and a spinal bleed.
He was put in an induced coma for three weeks, is now classed as a T6 paraplegic and has been diagnosed with autonomic dysreflexia (AD).
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