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Company fined over worker hand injuries in chicken factory

 

Poultry firm 2 Sisters fined over thumb and finger loss

  • 7 February 2019

A poultry company has been fined £274,000 after two workers maimed their hands while working in one of its chicken factories.

An agency worker lost his thumb, and an engineer lost his ring finger at 2 Sisters Food Group's Flixton site in Suffolk.

The company offered its "genuine apologies" to the two men.

Colchester Magistrates' Court heard how both incidents happened in the evisceration room in 2016.

The company pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Lithuanian worker Romas Ciurlionis had been assigned to work in the evisceration room, which processes about 200 birds a minute, for the first time in March 2016, the court heard.

He was shown how to remove intestines from carcasses by a fellow Lithuanian operative who was not a trainer. Less than an hour into his shift, his thumb got caught in shackles on the production line, the court was told.

Mr Ciurlionis was unable to reach an emergency stop and the machine continued to run, amputating his thumb below the first joint, prosecutor Jamie Hare said.

On 23 August 2016 engineer Darren Hamilton was in the evisceration room to change the blades on the machinery, the court heard.

The line was still running while Mr Hamilton was in the danger zone, against company policy, and when he tried to prevent two entwined shackles from damaging the machine he trapped his ring finger.

The court was told that 2 Sisters was also convicted of health and safety breaches in October 2011 after a worker lost his hand while cleaning equipment.

 

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