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Baxters fined after worker’s hand pulled into machinery

The major food manufacturing firm, Baxters, has landed in court for serious safety failings after one of its employees got his hand caught between a conveyor belt and roller.

What happened?

Kayode Ezekiel Ogundele had been working as a general operative on a newly-installed Fray Bentos line, when his hand was dragged into the gap between the moving conveyor and a newly-installed roller.

Realising that he was unable to remove his hand or stop the conveyor, a passing forklift truck driver came to Mr Ogundele’s assistance – but he had already suffered injuries to three fingers on his hand.

He was off work for a month because of his injuries, and still suffers pains in his hand and has very limited movement.

An investigation into the incident found that though some of the risks of the new line had been assessed, Baxters had failed to identify the need for further assessments once it had been fully installed.

Additionally, Mr Ogundele had been given a basic induction and health and safety briefing when he started work, but hadn’t been instructed on the specific machinery he was operating.

Following Mr Ogundele’s injuries a full assessment of risks of the line was carried out, identifying other potential nip points where additional guarding was required, and a tunnel guard was fitted along with pop-up rollers.

What was the outcome?

Baxters Food Group Ltd, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Provision and Use or Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and was fined a total of £6000.

HSE Inspector Penny Falconer said:

“This was an entirely avoidable incident. The dangers of nip points,
or the gaps between a moving belt and a stationary part of
a machine, are well-known in the industry.

“Baxter Food Group Limited should have carried out a full assessment
of the risks to workers of the new production line. That would
have identified what needed to be done and the company could
have taken the right action by introducing guards and
other safety measures where necessary.

“As a result of the company’s failings, Mr Ogundele suffered injuries
to his left hand which still cause him problems.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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