Dried fruit firm fined after worker loses part of finger

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Martyn Fisher

BY MARTYN FISHER

Dried fruit firm fined after worker loses part of finger

Employee at Whitworths loses the top of one of her fingers after attempting to clear a blockage in a machine

Dried fruit firm fined after worker loses part of finger

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A supplier of dried fruit, nuts and seeds has been fined after a worker was injured in a machinery incident.

Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard how on 24 October 2014, the worker was attempting to clear a blockage in a machine.

She was able to remove a flexible hose attached to a short length of outlet pipe. Her hand came into contact with the rotating blades of a rotary valve, which amputated part of a finger on her right hand, resulting in serious injury.

Whitworths Limited, of Wellingborough Road, Irthlingborough, Wellingborough, was fined a total of £8,000, and ordered to pay £1,653 in costs after pleading guilty to an offence under Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998.

Speaking after the hearing, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Michelle Morrison said: “Had the company ensured access to the dangerous moving parts of the rotary valve was prevented, by ensuring the length of the pipe complied with British Standards, then this young woman would not have lost the top of one of her fingers.” 

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