Northern Irish feed company fined after worker’s arm is amputated

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Moussa81
© GettyImages/Moussa81

Related tags: health and safety

A feed manufacturing firm, located in Country Antrim, Northern Ireland, has been fined £20,000 (US$25K) following an incident at its production site.

Brian McGuckian, trading as McGuckian Milling Company, pleaded guilty to two health and safety breaches at Antrim Crown Court, due to the fact one of its employees sustained serious injuries when his left arm was amputated by a screw auger conveyor, according to the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI).

On the day of the incident, the injured party was working in the blending plant at the animal feed manufacturing site when he noticed a blockage had occurred at a holding bin, said HSENI. While attempting to rectify the defect, his arm was drawn into an unguarded rotating screw auger resulting in the amputation of his left arm below the elbow, reported the Northern Ireland regulator.

The feed manufacturer was fined £10,000 for violated of Article 4(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978; and a further £10,000 for being in breach of Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment (Northern Ireland) Regulations 1999, said the HSENI.

Lack of protection, training 

Commenting on the incident, HSENI inspector, Gavin Rowan, said: “The investigation found that Brian McGuckian failed to provide adequate information, instruction and training for the operation, use and maintenance of the work equipment.  The investigation also found there was a lack of adequate guarding on the screw auger conveyor.”

He added that employers must ensure that all machinery is adequately guarded and that their employees are trained and competent to operate machinery.

“This injury was preventable, and the risk from the unguarded machine should have been identified. Employers should make sure that they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery,”​ said the inspector.

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