Pinchbeck food firm tightens up health and safety after £41,000 fine

Greencore Food to Go was fined just over �41,000 by Boston magistrates after a worker lost two fingers while cleaning a mixing machine at the firm's factory in Pinchbeck.  Photo by Adam Fairbrother.
Greencore Food to Go was fined just over �41,000 by Boston magistrates after a worker lost two fingers while cleaning a mixing machine at the firm's factory in Pinchbeck. Photo by Adam Fairbrother.
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A Pinchbeck food producer has vowed to tighten up safety after it was fined for lapses which led to a worker losing two of his fingers.

Greencore Food to Go was hit with a fine of just over £41,000 by Boston magistrates after it admitted breaching workplace health and safety regulations.

It emerged that Greencore had failed to take action after a supervisor raised concerns about the safety of a mixing machine in 2013, only for a worker to have two fingers severed while cleaning it on April 21 2014.

The prosecution was brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) whose spokesman said: “The worker’s fingers were severed when his hand came into contact with the paddles of a mixing machine while he was cleaning it.

“The issue of access to the dangerous parts of the machine had been raised by a supervisor in 2013, but the company had failed to take the necessary action and the injured party had not received training on the machine.

“In addition, the guarding standard of the mixer fell below what is required by law and gave rise to significant risk even though the standards which the company needed to apply were widely available, long published and easily understood.”

Worker loses two fingers after Greencore ‘failed to take necessary action’

Health and Safety Executive spokesman

Greencore Food To Go was formed in 1991 after the privatisation of Irish Sugar and has more than 10,000 employees based in the UK, Ireland and USA.

The firm produces about 150 million ready meals a year, with an annual turnover of almost £1.3 million and profits of about £83 million.

A Greencore spokesman said: “We take the safety and well-being of our people very seriously and we deeply regret the injury sustained by our colleague.

“We co-operated fully with the HSE and, as a result of the investigation ,have further strengthened our already robust health and safety procedures.”

Figures from the HSE showed that in 2014-15, there were 142 fatal workplace injuries and another 78,000 reported to the HSE by employers.

Mike Cross, HSE’s director for Scotland and northern England, said: “There is no need to make a choice between safety and economic success as the most successful businesses also have excellent health and safety records.

“Put simply, effective management of health and safety is good for business.”