A food processing company from Suffolk has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), as the result of a male employee injuring himself while working on one of their food presses.

The incident occurred on the 19th March 2012 at the Orbital Foods premises in Chapel Pond Hill. It was revealed at Burt St. Magistrates Court, that Rui Sousa  46, had been reconditioning the machine along with an experienced colleague when the accident occurred. Alarmingly, they had found themselves able to override the key safety feature on the press meaning they could work on it while the air and power supply was still running.

A study carried out by the HSE revealed that the press also had no safe system of work with it and a risk assessment had not been carried out.  This situation occurred in spite of the fact that Orbital Foods were pulled up for not carrying out thorough risk assessments in 2006.

Breach of Health & Saftey Act

This evidence lead to Orbital Foods being found guilty of a breaching section 2(1) of The Healthy and Safety at Work Act 1974, which states that it is the duty of every employer to ensure the health and safety of employees.  Orbital Foods will now pay £8,000 in fines and a further £2,634 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to the offence.

HSE inspector Anthony Brookes said: “Employers have a responsibility to provide systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.

“In this case the company had received previous warnings and enforcement from HSE which, had they heeded, would have prevented the serious and painful injury Mr Sousa had to endure.”

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