Teenage worker at butchers who lost hand in mincing machine awarded €20k
A butcher has been ordered to pay £15,000 (€19,600) after a teenage worker lost his hand because he got it trapped in a mincing machine.
Paul Jeffery, of P&K Meats in Street, Somerset, admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 following the incident in July 2013.
Yeovil Magistrates' Court heard the 16-year-old's right hand became stuck in the machine and had to be amputated at the scene.
Examination of the mincer showed it was being used without a guard fitted or restrictor plate and would have exposed any user to risk of harm.
Jeffery appeared in court in November 2014 and admitted failing to ensure, so far as is reasonably practical, the health and safety and welfare at work of all of his employees.
Magistrates fined Jeffery £3,000 and ordered him to pay Mendip District Council's prosecuting costs of £12,104.76, which will be covered by his insurance.
Speaking after the case, Stuart Cave, corporate manager for regulatory services at the council said the accident could have been avoided.
"This was an horrific accident in which a young man received life-changing injuries," Mr Cave said.
"The accident could have been avoided had the necessary safety equipment been used and as such we had no option but to prosecute Mr Jeffery for a serious breach of health and safety."
Councillor Nigel Taylor, portfolio holder for regulatory services, added: "It is vital that employers maintain a safe workplace and treat the welfare of their employees as a priority at all times.
"We will not hesitate to take action where we find businesses are flouting health and safety legislation and putting their employees at risk."