Blog - Accidents at Work

Chocolate company fined after worker left brain damaged in work accident

A Telford-based chocolate manufacturer has been fined £75,000 by the Health and Safety Executive after a worker was left partially blind and deaf.

It’s highly likely that Magna Specialist Confectioners Ltd will now face an accident at work compensation claim from the injured employee, having already pleaded guilty to the incident at a previous hearing in December 2009.

The company admitted breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. It was the second time they had been charged for breaching the rule; the first leading to a £25,000 find in February 2008.

The employee, who has remained unnamed, suffered severe head injuries after he was thrown violently from a machine he was cleaning. He spent two weeks in a coma, before waking to find he been left partially blind and deaf, with a loss of taste and smell and with changes to his personality.

In his early 30’s and with a wife and young daughter, the man had a seemingly bright future ahead of him. Following the accident it is unlikely that he will be able to find employment in a similar position again.

HSE inspector Guy Dale said: “It’s a fundamental expectation that employees should be able to work in safety. Assessing risks and implementing controls often only requires simple, cost-effective actions to be taken.”

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