Nestlé fined after worker dragged into After Eight machine

Clea Skopeliti
·1 min read

Confectionary company Nestlé UK Ltd has been fined £640,000 and instructed to pay £26,234 in costs after an employee had to be pulled out of an After Eights production machine on a factory floor by paramedics.

The confectionary company breached health and safety regulations on 13 February 2016, Bradford Crown Court heard on Thursday, when the employee at the firm’s Halifax factory was injured while observing production at the machine.

While overseeing the machine, an emery cloth held in the operator’s right hand near a gap in the machine’s exterior was pulled into the machine, taking his arm with it.

The position he was trapped in meant he was unable to reach any of the emergency stop buttons around the machine, the court heard.

The worker was released from the machine by paramedics and had to undergo surgery for a double compound fracture to his arm.

The accident resulted in an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found the firm had failed to prevent access to the machine’s hazardous operational parts.

Nestlé UK Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £640,000 and ordered to pay £26,234 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Jacqueline Ferguson said: “This is a tragic incident that could so easily have been avoided. The risks inherent in failures to properly guard dangerous parts of machinery are well known in industry and to Nestlé.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

Nestlé is the largest food company in the world.

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