Firm fined £8,000 for safety breaches after employee hand injury

A chicken factory in Thetford, Norfolk, has been fined more than £8,000 after an employee trapped his hand in machinery and lost the skin on the back of his hand.

The worker trapped a glove in a machine designed to de-skin chicken carcasses and subsequently lost all the skin between his knuckles and his wrist on the back of his hand.

Following the incident, the Health and Safety Executive investigated and found that the company, Crown Chicken Limited, had breached several health and safety regulations. It was revealed that the machine in question was not fitted with adequately protective guards and an emergency stop button, and that the worker’s gloves were not protective enough for the task he was undertaking.

When the case reached Thetford Magistrates’ Court, it was ruled that the company had committed two violations of Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974). Crown Chicken Limited was ordered to pay a fine of £8,000 and court costs of £5,500.

The company is legally required to have employers’ liability insurance in place to cover these costs. In addition, as part of their professional insurance arrangements, the company may have had Directors and Officers insurance. That insurance would have provided an indemnity to the Directors should the Health and Safety Executive have taken action against the Directors themselves.

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