Major yoghurt and dessert manufacturer, Müller, has been fined £66,000 after an agency worker had to have their fingers amputated following a “preventable incident.”
The Müller UK & Ireland Group, based in Minsterley, Shrewsbury, appeared at Walsall Magistrates’ Court this month where they pleaded guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 in relation to the incident.
In addition to their £66,000 fine, the company were also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £5,024.20.
The court heard how the agency employee had been working as a box maker and using a machine known as the tray erector at the company’s Minsterley site, when the incident occurred on 12th July 2016.
Their fingers became caught in the machine, and this resulted in them having to have their middle finger amputated below the second knuckle, losing half their index finger and having their third finger amputated to the first knuckle.
A subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the in-running nip on the tray erector was not properly guarded to prevent such incidents.
Furthermore, inspectors found that Müller had actually failed to guard dangerous parts of the machine in order to prevent access for more than seven years.
Commenting on the case following prosecution, HSE Inspector Andrew Johnson said:
“This preventable incident could have easily been avoided had the company properly assessed and applied effective control measures to minimise the risks from dangerous parts of the machinery.
“The dangers associated with in-running nips are well known, and a wealth of advice and guidance is freely available from HSE and other organisations.”
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