Pontypridd based bread manufacturer Easibake Foods Limited has been fined £14,000 after an employee’s hand was trapped by moving blades on a dough-cutting machine.
The firm was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) this week, after an investigation found that there was no guard on the machine to prevent access to the blades.
The worker was injured as she tried to clear a build up of dough from the machine at the factory on Pontyfelin Avenue, on 9 July 2012.
At a hearing on Monday (16 December) Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court heard how she fractured her right index finger and suffered multiple fractures to her thumb, as well as soft tissue and nerve damage to her right hand, which resulted in the temporary loss of movement in her fingers and required surgery.
The company has since fitted a guard to the machine. Easibake Foods was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay £9,931 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
Stuart Charles, an inspector at the HSE, said: "Easibake Foods failed to take effective measures to prevent access to potentially dangerous parts of its machinery, therefore exposing wokers to the risk of injury.
"This was a completely needless and entirely preventable incident that left an employee with painful injuries. The company should have used a fixed guard to prevent access to the dividing blades."