Europe, UK, Ireland

British potato processing companies fined for safety failings

Potato processor Braegate Produce has been fined £50,000 for health and safety failings, while a separate potato processing line accident has cost one Essex firm more than a £30,000 penalty.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 5 January 2018, Mr Smith, aged 62, was walking across the middle yard to the maintenance workshop at Braegate’s Tadcaster site. He was struck by three potato boxes loaded on the tines of a telehandler operated by another employee, knocked to the ground by the impact and suffered a fracture to his left leg. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigators found that the company had insufficient measures in place to prevent people being struck by a vehicle.

Braegate Produce Ltd of Mill Hill, Braegate Lane, Colton, Tadcaster pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Workplace (Health and Safety Welfare) Regulations 1991. The company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £3962 in costs.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard how on 24 October 2017 a 34-year-old agency worker was seriously injured when he fell onto the cleaning rollers of a potato grading machine at a farming partnership C H Cole & Sons in West Tilbury, Essex.

C H Cole & Sons (Mill House) based at Mill House Farm, West Tilbury pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The partnership was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,000.

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