Firm warned after girl hurt by machine

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) today warned companies across East Anglia to ensure that machinery is correctly guarded and that children are not allowed in factories.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) today warned companies across East Anglia to ensure that machinery is correctly guarded and that children are not allowed in factories.

The warning comes as a seafood processing company was fined a total of £5,000 with £4,300 costs, and its director Eric Oughton was fined £400 with £100 costs at Kings Lynn magistrates.

JPs heard a two-year-old - who cannot be named for legal reasons - suffered serious injuries to their fingers after putting their hand in the bottom roller of the conveyor at Bel-Shrimp Ltd's factory in Bergen Way Kings Lynn, in November 2002.

Bel-Shrimp Ltd was prosecuted for a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, with respect to the company's duties to others who were affected by the way it conducted its undertaking. The director of the company was in breach of Section 37(1) of the Act for their failure to manage the risks.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Steve Gill said: “The HSE wishes to make it clear that we expect business risks to be properly managed and machinery to be guarded in accordance with published guidance. A working factory is no place for a child the risks in this factory were even greater as there was machinery which was not guarded, to the extent it should have been.

“The message from this case is that HSE will continue to take action against those who flout the law and that managers and directors can be held directly responsible should their actions lead to employees or others being put at risk.”

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Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health and safety''.

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