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Firm fined after factory worker loses hand

Food company Heinz has been fined £50,000 after a factory worker suffered a severed hand as he cleaned a potato peeling machine.

The injury to 49-year-old Alec Brackenbury was branded “wholly avoidable” by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and has left him unable to carry out many day-to-day activities, including working and driving.

Mr Brackenbury was hurt as he reached into a slurry pump to retrieve a bolt he had dropped. He believed the pump was part of the peeling machine, which he had already disabled.

However, this was not the case and the pump started to move as he reached down, slicing through his wrist.

In addition, the pump was also missing a protective grate that would have prevented him from accessing the dangerous area.

The HSE criticised Heinz for failing to carry out appropriate risk assessments on the machine, and said that its negligence had caused Mr Brackenbury a “life changing” and “horrific” injury.

Heinz accepted the HSE’s findings that it had been negligent, and was fined £50,000 plus an additional £9,661 costs at Norwich Magistrates’ Court.

Compensation for accidents at work

Work environments such as factories and construction sites pose many potential risks, and it is an employer’s duty to ensure these are adequately assessed and managed. In case such as this where an employer has failed to do this, Croftons Solicitors will strive to secure compensation for victims.

Whatever the nature of your accident at work, we have the expertise and experience necessary to achieve compensation for your rehabilitation, and for any lost earnings until you return to work. In circumstances where an injury is so serious that a return to work is not possible, the amount of compensation you receive will be adjusted accordingly.

Call our personal injury team free on 0800 2800 094 to see how we could help you.

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