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Worker’s injuries land brewery in court

Date:
20 January 2015

A Herefordshire brewery has been fined for safety failings after a worker suffered a broken foot when it became trapped in a rotating stirrer.

Hereford Magistrates’ Court heard today (20 Jan) the 34-year-old employee of Wye Valley Brewery, from Hereford, had gone into an empty ‘mash tun’, a large steel vessel used to cook barley in hot water, to clean it. Unknown to him, the stirrer had been left running and his right foot became caught.

The man, who has asked not to be named, was rescued by colleagues and was off work for two days. He has since returned to work.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the incident, on 20 February 2013, could have been prevented had the company assessed the risks and taken appropriate action to control and manage them. The investigation also found there was no safe system of work or an emergency rescue procedure.

Wye Valley Brewery Limited, of Stoke Lacy, Hereford, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £9,632 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Tariq Khan said:

“Wye Valley Brewery had advice and information about devising safe systems of work for entry into confined spaces, but ignored it and failed to consider the risks to its employees.

“As a result, a man suffered a painful injury. He was very fortunate that colleagues heard his cries for help and managed to rescue him in time.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”
  2. Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states:  “Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work.”

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