Worker’s arm broken by bakery conveyor belt

A night shift cleaner ended up with both bones in her right forearm broken when she followed instructions to clean a particular conveyor production line at the bakery where she works. Although the line was running, the worker started to clean a moving steel pressure roller using a metal scraper blade.
When the blade slipped, the woman’s hand was drawn into the machine, between the steel roller and the moving conveyor belt. Her injuries required surgery and extensive physiotherapy, which was provided by her employers.
The subsequent Health and Safety Executive investigation found that the company was failing its employees in various ways:
• The fixed guard that should have been in place to protect workers was missing for around twelve months before the incident occurred, placing employees at considerable risk.
• Incomplete health and safety training procedures also meant that workers were receiving differing instructions. In this case, the worker concerned had not been shown how to clean the machine safely, nor had she been shown the machines cleaning instruction manual.
The HSE brought a case against the bakery and a fine of fourteen thousand pounds was handed down. The company will also have to pay fifteen thousand pounds in court costs.