A Suffolk-based company has been fined after a Hungarian agency worker suffered serious injuries to his arm while working on site.
Attila Czege, who was working for Indo European Foods Ltd in Felixstowe when the incident happened on 20 September 2012, sustained fractures to his upper and lower arm.
The 34-year-old became trapped and entangled in an unguarded conveyor while working on a production line involved in bagging rice. His right arm was consequently dragged in and around a large roller at the end of the conveyor, trapping his whole arm.
He underwent surgery three times in two weeks to repair the damage, although he was unable to return to work for several months.
Accident at work
Despite the fact that the conveyor had been in the factory since 2006, an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the accident at work revealed it had never been properly guarded to prevent access to the dangerous moving parts.
Ipswich Magistrates’ Court heard how the HSE had previously advised the company in 2009 to install guards on this part of the machine, but they failed to adequately act on this advice.
Indo European Foods Ltd, of Kohinoor House, Langer Road, Felixstowe, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. It was subsequently fined £16,000 and ordered to pay costs of £910.65 plus a victim surcharge of £1,600.
“The risk presented by this conveyor was evident given the working processes involved on the production line,” commented HSE Inspector Saffron Turnell.
“This incident could have easily been avoided as action to guard the machine adequately was quick and inexpensive. It is disappointing that Indo European Foods Ltd failed to satisfactorily heed the earlier advice of HSE.”