Factory fined after worker loses finger

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An Ilkeston food company has been forced to fork out more than £32,000 after a factory worker lost the tip of his finger in a mincing machine.

The man, who has asked not to be named, injured his left index finger as he tried to remove meat from a blade at Loscoe Chilled Food’s factory in Loscoe on November 7, 2011.

He had to undergo emergency surgery and was off work for three weeks before later retiring.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that he had not been trained to perform the task, which should have only been done by following a specific method.

After a hearing at Derby Magistrates Court on Wednesday, HSE inspector Emma Madeley said a similar incident had occurred in the past.

“Loscoe Chilled Foods had a duty to ensure its employees were protected from the dangerous moving parts of the mincing machine,” she said.

“The fact that a specific procedure had to be carried out to remove the guard shows the firm recognised the risk, yet it failed to ensure its employees were adequately trained and supervised. There was a lack of control which resulted in a man suffering a painful injury.”

The machine had been stopped and was slowing down when the worker noticed some mince was stuck in the outfeed at the end of the production line.

He removed the guard and reached in but his hand came into contact with the still-moving blade.

The firm, registered at The Old Police Station in Wharncliffe Road, Ilkeston, was fined a total of £16,000 and ordered to pay £16,192 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Health and Safety guidlines.