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Severed finger leads to prosecution of food manufacturer

08-10-2012

A Herefordshire food manufacturer has been fined after an employee severed her finger in an inadequately guarded machine.

Ewalina Giedziun, aged 29, from Hereford, sustained the injury while working on a suet packing line at Q Cold Limited's Ledbury site on 17 October last year.

The tip of her index finger on her left hand was severed when she reached into the machine and came into contact with heated clamping jaws that crimp and seal plastic bags once filled. She was unable to work for several months as a result of the incident.

On 20 September, Hereford Magistrates' Court heard that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Q Cold Limited had assessed the risks associated with the packing line and had installed both fixed guards and interlocked doors to prevent access to dangerous moving parts. However, one of the fixed guards was not properly secured and was effectively useless.

Q Cold Limited, of Orchard Business Park, Bromyard Road, Ledbury, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £2,348 in costs.

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