Nestle fined after worker injured by After Eight’s machine

Confectionary giants Nestle UK Limited have this afternoon (Wed) been fined £640,000 after a worker’s arm was broken when it was was dragged into a production line making After Eight mints.

The incident at the firm’s Albion Mills site in Halifax happened back in February 2016 when an experienced technical operator had been trying to fix a fault on a conveyor belt during a staff break.

Bradford Crown Court heard that the man had been holding a piece of emery cloth as crouched down near a gap to observe the running of the conveyor belt to see if the fault had been fixed.

Judge Jonathan Gibson said as the man placed his hand on the side of the machinery the emery cloth was drawn into the equipment pulling in his hand and arm.

The worker suffered a double compound fracture of his lower right arm in the accident and became trapped in the machine.

The court heard that the man, who was off work for four months, was released with the help of paramedics and had to undergo surgery to repair his broken arm.

Nestle pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to a strict liability offence under Health and Safety legislation of failing to ensure that measures were taken that were effective to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery.

The court heard that in the aftermath of the incident further guards had been fitted to address the risk and staff had received further safety training.

Judge Gibson accepted that the company took health and safety seriously and employees were in general terms trained to a high standard.

He also noted that prompt medical treatment had been sought at the time and the employee’s wages had been paid while he was off work.

Judge Gibson said arrangements had been made to facilitate the man’s return to work and he understood that a civil claim for damages had been settled.

In addition to the £640,000 for the offence Nestle will also have to pay costs totalling just over £26,000.

YorkshireLive – Halifax