A bakery firm has been fined £15,000 after one of its staff seriously hurt his fingers while cleaning machinery at its pastry factory.
The injury happened after the worker was told to clean part of a machine on the production line at the Lantmannen Unibake UK plant in Wallis Way, Eastcotts, near Bedford.
As he cleaned under a metal hood that housed an industrial extractor fan his left hand came into contact with the rotating blades causing serious injuries to his little finger and ring finger.
The employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, was unable to work for four months.
Lantmannen Unibake UK Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after an investigation established that the incident, which happened in November 2012, could have been easily prevented.
On Monday, Luton and South Beds Magistrates’ Court heard that no power isolation procedure was in place at the factory to allow machines to be cleaned in safety. In addition, the cleaning instructions had not been clear enough, leading the worker to think he had to clean an area of the machine where an inspection hatch, which restricted access to the fan blades, had recently been removed.
The firm was fined and ordered to pay £1,838 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Andrew McGill said: “Lantmannen Unibake UK clearly failed in their duty of care to their staff.”