An employee sustained a crushed index finger when his left hand became trapped by a sealing machine in a work accident.
A court heard this week that the incident, resulting in a finger crushed, would not have happened if his employer, Kent-based Veetee Foods Ltd, had ensured machinery guards were in place and being used.
The international food manufacturer was fined £12,000 by Medway Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (March 18) for safety failings.
Craig Brandie, 24, from Maidstone, sustained the injury with the finger crushed when he and workmates started to clean the machine following an oil leak which halted production at the firm’s Medway City Estate premises in Rochester on March 22, 2012.
Safety failings led to bad hand injury
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which looks into many incidents that can result in hand injury claims every year, found the machine’s safety guarding had been disabled.
Mr Brandie was cleaning a conveyor part of the machine when it started operating.
Part of the mechanism clamped down on his left hand, snaring it until workmates were able to loosen him.
The HSE discovered that the interlocked safety gate to the machine had been defeated, allowing staff to get too near to dangerous moving parts of machinery.
Inspectors could not work out precisely how long it had not been working as the firm did not undertake suitable guard checks.
Veetee Foods Ltd, of Rochester, was also ordered to pay £3,023 after admitting a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.