Kings Lynn Magistrates’ Court heard how in December 2014 an employee of Norfolk Free Range Limited was working at one of its indoor pig units at Meadow Farm, Northwold, Norfolk. The employee, a stockman, was shovelling feed into neighbouring troughs after a failure in the automated system had caused an overflow in the distribution of feed pellets.
He used his hand to sweep the feed off the top of the machinery where it had built up and at that moment the machine started automatically and pulled his finger into the auger severely injuring it.
Norfolk Free Range Limited, of Lots Bridge Farm, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire was fined a total of £12,500, and ordered to pay £813 in costs after pleading guilty to an offence under Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Anthony Brookes said:
“HSE’s investigation revealed that this was an entirely preventable injury. Had somebody from the company checked that all the guards and covers were in place on the feed system before it was returned to service then the employee would not have been injured.”
For more information about machinery safety visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/machinery/safety.htm