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Bury St Edmunds: Company in court after worker’s hand crushed in machinery

PUBLISHED: 13:32 24 December 2012

Archant © 2011

A SUFFOLK company has been ordered to pay fines and costs totalling over £10,000 after one of its workers had their arm crushed in a bacon press.

Orbital Foods Ltd, which buys and sells used food processing machinery, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for failing to prevent the incident at its premises in Chapel Pond Hill, Bury St Edmunds, on March 19.

The town’s Magistrates’ Court heard last week that Rui Sousa, an experienced engineer, was working on the machine with the air and power supply still connected having over-ridden a safety feature.

The 46-year-old suffered a fracture, severe lacerations and crush injuries when the press closed on his left arm, and was off work for four months.

An HSE investigation found that no risk assessment had been carried out on the machine and no safe system of work was provided for engineers.

The court was told that a previous HSE inspection in 2006 also identified issues with Orbital Foods not doing enough to risk assess the often dangerous condition of machines they received for reconditioning, or to operate a safe system of work.

The company improved its practices in response to the inspection but they had again lapsed in relation to Mr Sousa’s preventable injury.

They were fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £2,634 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

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