Crisp manufacturer Walkers has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 costs after a giant block of waste from a Quavers’ production line fell on a man’s leg and broke it.
The bizarre incident, which occurred at Walker’s factory two years ago, happened when an employee was attempting to move a 400kg block of compacted snack waste on top of wheelie bin.
The block had been formed from waste from the Quavers’ production line that had solidified inside a large “magnum” bin. The worker had successfully extricated the waste block from the bin by turning it on to its side using a forklift, but while attempting to place it on top a wheelie bin to move it, the bin overturned and the block fell on him, fracturing his left leg.
The worker, who wishes to remain anonymous, was off of work for 15 weeks, but has since returned to work at Walkers.
Last month at at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told magistrates that the work had not been properly planned, supervised or carried out in a safe manner. Walkers Snack Foods pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety and lifting regulations.
Scott Wynne, HSE Inspector, said: “Walkers Snack Foods failed to properly assess the risks associated with the task, which should have formed an important part of the planning process. As such the risks were not fully appreciated by those workers involved in the task, and a man suffered serious injury.”
In a very serious incident in September 2010 Walkers was fined £200,000 after a worker was killed by a cloud of toxic chlorine dioxide fumes from the factory’s starch reclamation units at the company’s site in Beaumont Leys, Leicester.