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A food company could be open to a compensation claim from a former employee who severed a fingertip in an accident at work.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, was working at the Loscoe Chilled Foods production factory in Ilkeston, Derbyshire at the time of the accident in November 2011.
A health and safety tribunal heard the worker had pressed the stop button on a mincing machine when he went to collect a tub of mince from the end of the production line.
He noticed some of the meat had become jammed in a part of the machine and removed the guard that was meant to prevent workers from being cut by blades and reached in to remove the mince.
It was at this point that the man's fingertip came into contact with the still-moving blade. The mincing machine had not come to a complete stop, as it should have, and the workers left index finger was severed completely.
He was rushed to hospital where surgeons performed an emergency procedure but were unable to reattach his finger, which had been mangled by the machine's blades.
A subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the guard the worker removed was only supposed to be moved by trained workers instead of inexperienced factory hands.
Work accident investigators concluded by saying that Loscoe Chilled Foods had not done enough to ensure its workers' safety and that training regimes were lax and only irregularly enforced.
The company were fined £16,000 and ordered to pay £16,192 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching two health and safety regulations.
HSE inspector Emma Madeley said: "Loscoe Chilled Foods Limited had a duty to ensure its employees were protected from the dangerous moving parts of the mincing machine.
"The fact that a specific procedure had to be carried out to remove the guard shows the firm recognised the risk, yet it failed to ensure its employees were adequately trained and supervised."
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