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Accident at work – fractured finger

A worker has sustained severe injuries to his left hand following an accident at work. The unnamed man was attempting to remove a blockage in a sugar dispensing machine when the valve clamped shut, fracturing and lacerating his finger.

Dangerous machinery – unidentified risk

In an investigation led by the Health and Safety Executive, Reading Magistrates’ Court heard that on the day of the incident, sugar had clumped in a dispensing chute at the condiments factory in Berkshire. The employee cleared the blockage by hand, and sugar immediately rushed out of the chute. The sugar fell onto the pre-set scales beneath – when the target weight was reached, the machinery clamped shut, trapping the man’s hand.

The man required two pins in his hand and can no longer straighten the damaged finger.

Company fine – health and safety breaches

English Provender Company Limited was found guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at work Regulations 1999, and was also found guilty of breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The firm was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,178

HSE inspector Leon Donovan commented:

“English Provender Company should have carried out a proper assessment of the risks involved in the operation and maintenance
of their sugar dispensing machine.

“This would have identified the issues that lead to this unfortunate accident which could have been avoided if the company had fitted a
simple inexpensive fixed guard to prevent access to a
dangerous automatic sliding sluice valve.”

Accident at work – expert advice and guidance

If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault in the work place, you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Whatever your circumstances, we offer instant advice and professional guidance. For further information, and to discover the amount of compensation that you could be owed, contact us today for your FREE no-obligation consultation on 0800 888 6 888 or email

Source: Health and Safety Executive

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