Getting hands caught in unguarded machinery is one of the most common causes of injury in manufacturing.

More than 10 food and drinks firms were prosecuted last year by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) after hands and arms were struck by machines. This year’s total has already begun in another incident that the HSE say was “entirely preventable” involving the maker of Golden Wonder crisps.

The manufacturer was fined after an agency worker’s fingertips were cut off. A court heard the worker was clearing a blocked production line machine when his hand came into contact with shears.

Guard not secured

A HSE investigation found the machine’s guard was not secured.

The company did not have a formal system to monitor and make sure all guards were securely in place before machines were started.

Tayto Group Limited accepted it broke the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER). It was fined £330,000 with costs of £11,750.

The HSE says employers must have adequate and robust systems to make sure machine guards prevent access to dangerous parts before machinery is used.

Ellis Whittam recently reported on the risks of moving machine parts in manufacturing.

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