Food company fined £20,000 following severe injury to employee

Belwood Foods Limited factory (credit: Google)

A Nottinghamshire company has received a £20,000 fine following a severe arm injury to one of its employees at its Nottinghamshire facility.

The incident occurred on November 22, 2019, at the Belwood Foods site in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, situated on the Lowmoor Business Park.

Piotr Zielinski, a 58-year-old resident of Nottinghamshire, was involved in the incident when his right arm became entangled in a machine, resulting in a crushed wrist.

Zielinski had been in the process of clearing debris from the hinges of an open access panel door on a poultry processing machine. While conducting this task, the still-operating auger drew his right arm into the machine up to the elbow.

It has been confirmed, that no measures were in place to prevent the opening of the panel while the auger was in motion, it lacked locking mechanisms or interlocking features, and there was no established safe isolation protocol for the weekly cleaning task.

Belwood Foods has admitted to violating Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to cover £7,839.21 in costs during a session at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Monday, October 9.

HSE inspector Lee Greatorex said: “This injury was easily preventable. Employers have a responsibility to properly assess the risks from all aspects of their operations, including cleaning and maintenance, and implement effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery. HSE will not hesitate to take action against companies which do not do all that they should to keep people safe.”