Animal feed firm fined after worker’s fingers severed

A livestock feed manufacturer has been fined £100,000 after an employee’s fingers were severed by machinery at a Carlisle feed mill.

The maintenance engineer was clearing rainwater in the pit when his gloved hand contacted the chain drive of a conveyor.

The chain dragged his fingers into the nip where the chain winds around a sprocket, severing the ends of three fingers on his right hand.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to ensure the guard was on the chain drive.

It had not been in place for some months and a further opportunity was missed to replace it following a breakdown repair, carried out on the conveyor five days before the incident on 11 February 2019.

NWF Agriculture of Nantwich, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 11(1) at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court.

The company was fined and ordered to pay costs of £6,098.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Matthew Tinsley said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided had checks been carried out to ensure control measures were in place and safe working practices followed.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”