A BAKERY worker lost part of his fingers after a pasty-making machine modified to speed up production cut them off.
The 35-year-old man, from Blackburn, was feeding cheese and onion mixture into the top of the machine when his right hand was struck by pistons inside.
He lost the tips of two of his fingers and was off work for nearly a year following the incident, in September 2012 at Tayyabah Bakery in Gannow Lane, Burnley.
Tayyabah Bakery Ltd, which also has a premises in Higher Eanam, Blackburn, was yesterday (THURS) prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive.
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An investigation found part of a metal guard had been moved to allow workers to add fillings to the machine while it was still operating, negating the need to power down the machine.
The bakery was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £5,002 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 by failing to prevent access to dangerous machine parts.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector David Myrtle said: “The injuries suffered by the employee have had a significant impact on his life but his injuries could have been even worse.
“If the machine had been set up with larger pistons, as it was on some days, he could easily have lost all of his fingers.
“The machine was entirely safe to use when it was installed but, by overriding an essential safety feature to speed up production, the company exposed employees to an unacceptable and entirely avoidable level of risk.
“It is vital manufacturing companies put the health and safety of their staff before profits, otherwise incidents like this will continue to happen in the future.”