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UK ice cream manufacturer fined after worker injury

By Joe Whitworth , 02-Oct-2012

A UK ice cream manufacturer has been fined £10,000 (€12,500) after a worker had his forearm broken when it got caught in a conveyor belt.

R&R Ice Cream was fined £10,000 with £3,294 costs after admitting a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and a second offence of contravening the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Two safety breaches

The incident was investigated by the UK Health and Safety Executive, which prosecuted R&R Ice Cream, based in North Yorkshire, for two safety breaches.

Sam Goodall was working on the ice cream production line when his glove got caught and his arm drawn into an in-feed conveyor belt.

The incident occurred last year because the company had removed a part of the line leaving a gap in the side of the conveyor belt and Goodall put his hand through the gap to retrieve some trapped lids.

His glove became entangled and his arm was drawn into a dangerous moving part of the machine, which was inadequately guarded, Northallerton Magistrates' Court heard.

He managed to pull himself free, but suffered two broken bones in his right arm and a dislocated wrist and was off work for six weeks.

Neglected machinery

HSE inspector Kate Dixon said many other employees sustain permanent disability or impairment because machine safety has been neglected.

"Unguarded or poorly guarded machinery is the cause of many injuries in workplaces across the country. Employees should not be exposed to risks to their safety through their everyday work.

"R&R Ice Cream Ltd failed to make sure that the dangerous moving parts of the in-feed conveyor were not accessible by the workforce on the production line. This failure could have been addressed at minimal cost.

"They also failed re-assess the risk to workers after the change they made to the production line. Even temporary changes to machinery should be fully considered to make sure additional risks are identified and addressed."

R&R Ice Cream produces brands including Fab and holds the licence to make a range of Nestlé ice creams including Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles.