A halal chicken specialist has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a poultry processing machine severed a worker's thumb.
On 24 April 2017, the agency worker was rehanging chickens on a hook coming from an overhead conveyor at Chesterfield Poultry's site in Doncaster.
One of the chicken’s feet came out of the shackle, and as she tried to put the foot back into the hook, her thumb got stuck, and the conveyor pulled her along. Further around the line there was a fixed upright post attached to a drip tray, which ripped her thumb off.
Sheffield Magistrate’s Court was told that investigators found there was no emergency stop for the worker to stop the conveyor from her working position when she became caught in it.
Chesterfield Poultry Ltd (CPL), trading as Iqbal Poultry (IQP) – which employs more than 250 people and has a turnover of over £50 million – admitted breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. As well as the fine, it was ordered to pay £5,046 in costs.
'The moving shackles passing the fixed pole – that supported the drip tray – created the danger zone that the worker was drawn into,' said HSE inspector Eddy Tarn.
'Companies must ensure that measures are in place to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery and provide a means to stop machinery should an emergency happen.'