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Food company fined for failing to protect workers

Posted in: Employer Negligence Workplace Injuries 

A global ingredients company has been fined for safety failings after two workers were seriously injured in separate incidents a year apart at its UK manufacturing base near Hitchin.

In the first incident, in July 2009, a maintenance engineer fell more than two metres while attempting to clean flour product from inside an elevated conveyor. He stood on the frame of a nearby machine to remove upper guarding on the conveyor but slipped, fracturing his right shoulder blade and a vertebra in his spine when he hit the floor below.

A year later, in July 2010, an electrical sub-contractor fell down a lift shaft while carrying out maintenance work on a jammed second floor lift door. A panel reading indicated the lift was at second floor level. He manually opened the door by overriding a release mechanism and stepped in but fell into the shaft because the lift car had returned to the ground floor.

Cambridge Crown Court heard that a HSE investigation into both incidents identified serious failings with the work not being properly planned, supervised or carried out in a safe manner.


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