A FOOD company has been fined after a worker lost the tips of her two fingers in unguarded machinery at a Newport bakery.
The 28-year-old woman from Cwmbran, who does not want to be named, was working at Avana Bakeries in Rogerstone, which has since been taken over by a new company, but was owned by Solway Foods Ltd at the time the incident happened on September 19, 2013.
She was cleaning cake mixture from a pipe by hand when her fingers got caught in part of the pump mechanism, severing the tips of her index and middle fingers on her right hand.
The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted Solway Foods Ltd at Newport Magistrates’ Court today.
The court heard how a co-worker was cleaning out the pump and connected inlet and outlet pipes using a hose. The pump was still running to enable the residual mixture from the last product to be pumped out.
The injured worker had been cleaning up the water but when she noticed some cake mixture inside the inlet pipe, she put her hand in to remove it when her fingers touched the moving machinery.
Although the company had put bars over the inlet and outlet parts on most of the other pumps in the factory, they had failed to do this on the pump involved in the incident.
The worker still suffers pain as a result of the incident and experiences difficulty carrying out daily tasks which involve gripping, such as brushing her hair or writing, the court heard.
Solway Foods of Trinity Business Park, Wakefield, was fined £2,400 and ordered to pay £4,373 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.