Processor fined following trainee accident

A Sussex-based meat processing company has been fined a total of £9,000 after a 16-year-old trainee was badly injured in an industrial accident.

Malpass Direct of Brighton admitted breaching the Health & Safety at Work Act during a hearing before Brighton magistrates. (Feb 18)

The court heard that, in 2009, the 16-year-old trainee suffered serious hand injuries when he attempted to clear a blockage in a mincing machine.

An investigation by the HSE then found the safety interlock on the mincer lid had been disabled to allow sausage mix to be made.

The investigation also revealed that the trainee had been left to work by himself without proper supervision or training.

The company was fined £5,000 with £4,000 costs.

Following the case an HSE spokesman commented: “This incident was completely avoidable and has left a young man with permanent injuries. The level of supervision Malpass Direct offered in this instance was unacceptable and the company could have taken simple measures to prevent unsupervised use of the mincing machine by this trainee.

“Malpass Direct could also have easily modified the mincer so it could be used to make the sausage mix without overriding the interlock. The HSE will take robust enforcement action against any company found defeating safety interlocks.”