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Food company fined after worker impaled.


A West Yorkshire food company has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker was impaled upon a set of ‘airline-style’ steps.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard that on 18 September 2018 a staff member at Leeds-based Country Style Foods Ltd was working at height on a set of steps to reach and clean the top oven in a stack of horizontal ovens.

While on the step’s working platform he slipped and was impaled upon a section of the handrail, suffering a torn artery and nerve damage resulting in several days’ hospital treatment. 

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the steps had been adapted for a different task, which created an additional risk when used for the work in question.

While there was a scissor lift on the site, the staff member involved was not trained in how to use it.

Country Style Foods, Pontefract Lane, admitted breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £140,000 and ordered to pay £11,589 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector, Darian Dundas, said: “The company failed to appropriately plan and supervise work at height leading to it being undertaken using a set of steps inappropriate for the task.

“This incident was easily preventable, and the risk should have been more clearly identified and appropriately addressed.

“HSE will not hesitate to prosecute companies that fail to implement safe systems of work.”