Soup Firm Fined After Worker Loses Leg In Work Accident

An iconic British soup company has been fined £60,000 after a worker suffered devastating injuries in a work accident on a production line.

Jodie Cormack lost a leg after slipping off a conveyor belt in the steam peeling department at a Baxters Food Group factory in Fochabers, Scotland, in January 2014.

The short-term contract worker had climbed up to clear potatoes out of the mechanism when he fell into a collecting hopper. The vegetables were being prepared for soup production.

Mr Cormack was trapped for an hour while emergency services and orthopaedic surgeons tried to release him. He was then airlifted to hospital, where his right foot was partially amputated and his left leg was amputated below the knee.

Elgin Sheriff Court heard that workers climbed up a ladder to reach the conveyor belt before using a squeegee to push vegetables over the edge.

Mr Cormack climbed onto the stationary conveyor belt to recover the squeegee to clear the last few potatoes. However, his foot slipped and his was pulled into part of the mechanism that was still running.

The court was told Baxters failed to carry out an appropriate risk assessment and provide safe working procedures and adequate training and supervision.

The company had recently been prosecuted for a work accident that left a worker with hand injuries.

Baxters Food Group Limited of Highfield House, Fochabers, Moray, admitted breaches of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing, Health and Safety Executive inspector Penny Falconer said: “This tragic incident was entirely avoidable.”

Macks Solicitors’ personal injury lawyers have unrivalled experience of recovering compensation for people who have been injured in workplace accidents. Call us on 0800 882 4894 to arrange a consultation.

 


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