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Bury St Edmunds firm in court after Suffolk worker injured

02-01-2013

The machine which caused Mr Sousas injuriesA Suffolk worker's arm was badly crushed when a bacon press he was reconditioning started up as he worked on it, a court has heard.

Orbital Foods Ltd., which buys and sells used food processing machinery, was prosecuted (on 20 December 2012) by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to prevent the incident at its Chapel Pond Hill premises on 19 March 2012.

Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court heard that Rui Sousa, 46, an experienced engineer, was working on the machine with the air and power supply still connected having over-ridden a safety feature.

Mr Sousa suffered a fracture, severe lacerations and crush injuries when the press closed on his left arm, as a result of which he was off work for four months.

An HSE investigation found that no risk assessment had been carried out on the machine and no safe system of work was provided for engineers.

The court was told that a previous HSE inspection in 2006 also identified issues with Orbital Foods not doing enough to risk assess the often dangerous condition of machines they received for reconditioning, or to operate a safe system of work.

The company improved its practices in response to the 2006 inspection, but they had again lapsed in relation to Mr Sousa's preventable injury.

Orbital Foods Ltd., of Chapel Pond Hill, Bury St Edmunds, was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £2,634 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

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