Somerset company fined over life-threatening injuries
22 Jul 2013
A Somerset-based drinks manufacturer has been fined following an
incident in which a member of staff suffered life-threatening
Brothers Drinks Company of Shepton Mallet was held accountable at a
hearing at Yeovil Magistrates Court last week (July 18th) for an
accident in which a 52-year-old worker suffered a severed artery
while working on a production line at the firm's bottling
The incident took place in July last year, which saw the unnamed
individual lose a large amount of blood when his arm got caught in
machinery that had not been fitted with an automatic stop
He was investigating a blockage in the depalletiser - a machine
which removes empty bottles from the conveyor belt - when it
automatically restarted and trapped his hand.
The worker was able to eventually free his arm, but suffered deep
cuts and severing of the artery in his bicep. He required three
operations to save his life. He now also has an increased risk of
developing life-threatening blood clots in the future and requires
ongoing counselling for post-traumatic stress.
HSE inspector Fiona Coffey said: "This entirely preventable
incident could have led to the employee's death and has left him in
a great deal of pain.
"Had the equipment been properly risk assessed by Brothers Drinks
Co after the modifications had been made, the absence of an
interlock would have been identified."
The firm pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and
Safety at Work Act 1974 and was subsequently fined GBP 10,000 and
ordered to pay prosecution costs of GBP 12,859.