Young’s Seafood fined over a worker’s hand mangled in a fishcake machine.

A seafood company has been fined more than £800,000 after a worker lost two fingers when his hand was caught in a fishcake machine.

The man’s arm was caught in the mechanism at Young’s Seafood’s factory in Grimsby in October 2017.

Grimsby Crown Court heard a safety device was not working as it should.

Young’s Seafood was fined £787,500 for breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and told to pay £33,443.68 costs.

The court heard the worker, a 59-year-old man, was making fishcakes at the factory on Humberstone Road in Grimsby on 16 October 2017.

When the mix finished, the worker lifted an interlocked guard which should have stopped the machine from running, to clear the mix out of the machine.

But when he put his hand in the machine it caught his arm pulling him in up to the elbow.

The man managed to pull his arm out but his thumb and two fingers were severed and he suffered serious tendon damage.

Doctors have been unable to reattach his fingers and he has not yet been able to return to work.

An HSE investigation found the machine continued to run even when the safety guard was lifted and failed to respond when the emergency stop was pressed.

It said the interlocking system was inadequate, and Young’s Ltd failed to ensure the machine was effectively maintained.

These matters were exacerbated by poor communication between the shop floor and maintenance and an inadequate fault reporting system, the HSE found.

HSE inspector Carol Downes said: “The life-changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented and the risk should have been identified.

“Being proactive with preventative maintenance and good communication of faults can reduce the chance of harm.”

Young’s said it had cooperated fully with the HSE investigation and accepted the fine.

A spokesman for the firm said the member of staff was a “valued member of Young’s family for 25 years and continues to work with us today”.

He added that since the incident it had “put effective health and safety measures in place to avoid incidents like this happening again in the future”.

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