Fruit company in court after three workers injured

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Uncategorised on Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Fruit importer and distributor Winfresh (UK) Ltd has been fined following three separate incidents in which workers were injured after becoming trapped in machinery.

Fruit importer and distributor Winfresh (UK) Ltd has been fined following three separate incidents in which workers were injured after becoming trapped in machinery.

The Health and Safety Executive report that two agency workers and an employee, who was a maintenance engineer, were all working at a processing plant in Essex. The most recent incident at the plant in High Cross Lane East, Little Canfield, Great Dunmow, occurred in 25 August 2012 when a female agency worker was cleaning the underside of a conveyor on a production line.

The Health and Safety Executive investigation revealed that there had been two earlier incidents at the plant involving workers’ hands becoming entangled in machinery and the company was prosecuted for repeated safety failings. The plant receives green bananas which are then ripened before being processed and packed. The production lines, which include a series of conveyors, are mainly operated by agency workers, the majority of whom do not have English as their first language.

The HSE’s investigation found that guarding standards were inadequate and insufficient risk assessments had been carried out. HSE said the maintenance engineer lacked sufficient training and had been left to work without supervision and proper instruction on isolation and safe working procedures.

Winfresh (UK) Ltd, was fined a total of £32,000 and ordered to pay £771.50 costs after pleading guilty to three offences; one breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and two breaches of the Provision and Use of Equipment Regulations 1998.

Every employer should, so far as is reasonably practicable, take steps to ensure that employees, including more vulnerable agency workers, are not exposed to risks to their health or safety. Sadly, accidents at work are all too common and avoidable“.

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