A worker for United Biscuits Ltd – who manufactures cakes and biscuits for McVities – suffered the terrible injury at the company’s cake baking facility in Halifax, 2009. The machine that she was working on, an industrial sized cake mixing machine, had become blocked. She attempted to clear the blockage caused by flapjack ingredients with her right hand. She had to climb a 2 metre high step ladder to get into the machine. As the mixer was stopped the unnamed female worker was under the misguided belief that the blades inside had too. However, they had not, and when she reached to clear the blockage two of her fingers were severed.
United Biscuits Ltd. were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for breaking the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This relates to protecting employees and includes preventing access to moving machinery parts by using safety guards. They were fined £10,000 and forced to pay legal costs of nearly £3,000.
A spokesperson for the HSE stated that accidents at work like this should not happen in any company never mind one which operates on such a large scale.