Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Two Separate Accidents Results in Fine for Chicken Company
Posted by David Cant on November 1, 2011

One of the largest companies which produce both raw and produced Chicken in Europe has been fined after being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive.  The prosecution came as a result of two separate incidents which happened at the factory in Suffolk.  Both of the accidents were preventable and two workers have suffered awful injuries thanks to the lack of health and safety in place in the factory.

Two Avoidable Incidents

The first incident occurred when Shawn Alexander, aged 42, was carrying out his usual role as the night shift supervisor. During the shift he helped one of his team to clean some of the equipment on December 9th.  During the clean his hand got trapped and was pulled further into the cogs inside, resulting in a crushing injury which cost Mr Alexander his thumb, four fingers and even some of his palm.

In January 2010 a second accident happened when Malcolm Raven, aged 54, was working in the pre-slaughter part of the factory.  Mr Raven was employed as a fork lift driver but he had to go into one of the enclosures to try and sort out a blockage. As he tried to clear it his arm was trapped and as a result it was broken.

Safety Guards and By-Pass Devices Missing

Both of the accidents could have been prevented.  The machine that Mr Alexander was injured by did not have a safety guard.  In the case of Mr Raven, if there had been a by-pass device attached to the machine his arm would not have been broken.

The 2 Sisters Food Group which is based in the West Midlands was investigated and subsequently prosecuted by the HSE.  They admitted that they had breached Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. This is the section which states that the employer must do everything possible to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees. The court fined the firm £230,000 and an additional £24,350 in costs.  £90,000 was applied to Mr Alexander’s accident and £140,000 to Mr Raven’s.

Obvious Errors Noticed by the HSE

The investigation carried out by the HSE highlighted that in Mr Alexander’s case there were many errors and that it was not just limited to the lack of a safety guard.   He had not been given the appropriate training, there were no safe working practices in place and the workplace risk assessments were not adequate. Mr Raven also was not given the correct training as he was asked to work on a task which was not his usual routine.

Health and Safety Consultants are able to help all businesses, big or small, with their health and safety policies and procedures.  It is essential that the correct training is provided to all employees. Risk assessments need to be performed to help reduce any accidents from occurring and machinery must be fitted with the correct guards and safety measures to prevent injury.

Health and Safety services are available to make sure you are doing everything possible to protect your employees. Call 0800 1488 677 for more information from expert health and safety consultants.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Construction Health and Safety, Health and Safety Services, Health and Safety Training, Workplace Safety

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