Pet food manufacturer Nestle Purina has been fined £50,000 after an industrial accident five years ago left five of its employees with severe burns.
The men were working on a hydrostat, a piece of machinery used in the processing of pet food, when an uncontrolled blast of boiling water and steam fired out of the machine and struck them.
The incident, which occurred at the firm’s plant in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire on Auguest 4, 2006, left the five victims with extensive burns to their faces, arms and hands. One man needed cosmetic surgery to repair damage to his arm.
The Health and Safety Executive investigation found that the machinery in question had recently been updated but no risk assessment had been carried out after the modifications had been made.
Nestle Purina were fined £50,000 with £22,634 in costs.
After the hearing at Cambridge Crown Court, HSE inspector Peter Burns told the Fenland Citizen: “This incident highlights the need for companies to plan and implement all projects with a clear health and safety oversight. Had Nestle Purina followed these regulations properly, this incident may have been avoided and these five men may not have suffered the injuries they did.
“HSE will not hesitate to prosecute companies who fail to take their health and safety obligations seriously.”
Although none of the men have indicated their intentions to the press, they should be eligible to make a claim for accident at work compensation.
Source: Fenland Citizen
Date Published: April 21, 2011
Author: David Brown