Blog - Accidents at Work

Blockage in Packing Machine Causes Accident and Injury

An accident occurred when a worker tried to clear a blockage in a packing machine at a Doncaster factory.

Ms Junu Thapa was working on the packing machine at King Asia Foods Ltd in November 2010. The packing machine was being filled with powdered ingredients as part of a production line. A mobile screw conveyor was being used to feed in the powdered ingredients to be packed.

Due to the nature of the ingredients, the machine blocked regularly. The accident happened when Ms Thapa tried to clear one of these blockages. Her hand was accidentally pulled into the screw conveyor and suffered injury. The end of her left ring finger was severed in the incident.

The Health and Safety Executive found that the safety guard on the hopper had been modified. The guard should have prevented access to the screw mechanism. The guard was fixed in two corners instead of the usual four, so that it could be lifted whilst the machine was operational.

The accident has resulted in the company appearing at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court this week. They were fined £5,000 for breaking work equipment regulations.

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