Pig farming company fined for “safety failings”

A Cambridgeshire pig farming company has been fined £12,500 for “safety failings” after an employee suffered a serious injury to his hand.

According to details released by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Kings Lynn Magistrates’ Court heard how, in December 2014, an employee working at one of the company’s indoor pig units in Norfolk was shovelling feed into neighbouring troughs after a failure in the automated system had caused an overflow in the distribution of feed pellets.

“He used his hand to sweep the feed off the top of the machinery where it had built up and at that moment the machine started automatically and pulled his finger into the auger severely injuring it,” said HSE.

In addition to fines totalling £12,500, the company was also ordered to pay £813 in costs after pleading guilty to an offence under Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

“HSE’s investigation revealed that this was an entirely preventable injury,” said HSE Inspector Anthony Brookes, speaking after the hearing. “Had somebody from the company checked that all the guards and covers were in place on the feed system before it was returned to service then the employee would not have been injured.”

Headline image is taken from the HSE website

See HSE toolbox/machinery safety guidance

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