A food firm in Edinburgh was fined £1,000 last month after a worker injured their hand whilst using an unguarded dough mixer.
The worker, a factory assistant, was working with an industrial sized dough mixer. The machine was used to mix ingredients used in the Chinese dumplings that the company produced. The ingredients and water were placed into the machine and then paddles rotated to mix the ingredients into dough.
On the day of the accident the worker noticed that the mixture looked too wet and decided to add some extra flour by hand. Whilst doing so his hand got caught by the machine and in the process of removing his arm from the machine the worker seriously injured his hand.
The HSE investigation found that the machine had not been properly guarded and no risk assessment for the operation had been carried out. When in the closed position the shutter on top of the machine still left a gap of approximately eight centimetres. There was also no interlocking on the machine which would have cut the power to the dangerous rotating parts when the metal shutter was lifted.
Also, the markings and instructions on the dough mixer were in Chinese, with no English translation. The HSE found that the company had failed to provide sufficient information, instructions, training and supervision in relation to the use of the machine.
This case is an example of the importance of carrying out risk assessments and ensuring that employees are properly trained in using machinery.
On January 16, 2013