A meat processing company has been fined after a worker suffered a serious hand injury at its abattoir in Scotland.
The man, who does not wish to be named, sustained severe wounds to the fingers of his left hand when they came into contact with a band saw while using machinery at the Brechin site in May 2013.
Quality Pork Processors Limited, called A P Jess (Brechin) Limited at the time, admitted safety failings relating to the accident at work.
Exposed cutting blade
The band saw formed part of the machinery for cutting pig carcasses, Forfar Sheriff Court heard. It was also told how the saw, which had an exposed cutting blade, was being used as a replacement for the usual saw which was inoperative.
But the replacement saw was not fitted to a conveyor to carry the sections of cut meat away from the blade and towards the employee, meaning the employee’s hands were in close proximity to the exposed blade.
While moving the meat, the fingers on his left hand came into contact with the saw.
Quality Pork Processors Limited pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was consequently fined a total of £28,000.
Accidents at work
All employers have a duty of care to ensure workers are as safe as possible from any hazards in the workplace.
They must provide safe working equipment which is regularly maintained, deliver training where appropriate, carry out risk assessments where hazards are identified and controlled and provide written reports on these assessments.
Breaches can lead to accidents at work, like in the case of Quality Pork Processors Limited.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 exists to illustrate the general duties that employers have towards employees. It protects both parties by developing health and safety standards in the workplace.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: September 26, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown