Failure to identify risk at food manufacturer results in serious incident
A worker at a food manufacturing company was left with serious burns to his arms and face, due to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 by the employer.
During a hearing at Bradford Magistrates' Court, Princes Ltd of Bradford pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Act, resulting in them being fined £13,000 and being ordered to pay costs of £1,323.15.
The incident occurred in July 2013, when Mark McLean, 41, was working at the company's Bradford branch. A hose that was full of a caustic substance split, causing McLean to be sprayed with the solution. In addition to temporarily losing his sight during the incident, he also received chemical burns to his arms and his face.
The investigation, which was conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), did not find any evidence to suggest that preventative measures were taken prior to the incident. HSE inspector Kate Dixon said:
“The company failed to identify and eliminate the risk through good design, instruct employees correctly and instigate an inspection regime of the hoses and maintain the hoses in good working order.”
Dixon added that if the described measures had been taken, the incident would not have happened. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 was put in place to ensure that employers take all reasonable measures to prevent incidents in the workplace. The use of PPE or protective workwear may prevent serious injury.