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Company in court after worker loses arm

An animal feed supplement manufacturing firm has landed in court after an elderly worker lost his arm when handling machinery.

What happened?

71-year-old Frederick Sharp had been adjusting a belt on a production line conveyor that was feeding a bagging point. He removed a guard to access the adjusting screw when his arm was drawn into the in-running nip between the belt and roller.

He sustained extensive injuries to his right arm, resulting in amputation below the shoulder. He also suffered multiple fractures to his right hip and leg which also required surgery to insert a pin and plate.

An investigation into the incident found that UFAC (UK) Ltd had failed to ensure that adequate measures were taken to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery.

Additionally, the court heard that the Health and Safety Executive had issued the company with a Prohibition Notice three years prior to the incident, preventing access underneath a running conveyor, as fixed guards were not in place to prevent the risk of being drawn into or trapped in moving machinery.

What was the outcome?

UFAC (UK) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and was fined £8,000 with £1,633 costs.

Following the ruling HSE Inspector, Judith McNulty-Green, said:

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

“UFAC (UK) Ltd should have ensured guarding suitable for the maintenance
of the machine was in place. It is important that companies recognise
the need for and implement safe machinery guarding, not just for
operator safety but also for safety during maintenance.

“UFAC (UK) Ltd had previously been warned by HSE specifically about the
importance of guarding a conveyor and if they had applied the
principles of effective guarding to other conveyors this
incident could have been prevented.

“Instead, as a result of the company’s failings, Mr Sharp suffered
serious life-changing injuries.”

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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