Scottish meat processing company fined after employees lose fingers while making sausages

Both incidents happened with employees working on the sausage line.

A meat processing company has been fined £310,000 after two workers had their fingers cut off.

One incident involved a 37-year-old man working on the Lorne sausage processing line at what was then the Hall's of Scotland factory in Glenburn Road, Prestwick, on August 22 2016.

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The Crown Office said in a statement he had tried to clear a blockage by pushing the meat down into the mincer but lost part of his finger when it came into contact with the moving machinery.

Hamilton Sheriff Court, where the hearing happenedHamilton Sheriff Court, where the hearing happened
Hamilton Sheriff Court, where the hearing happened

Another incident on January 7 2019 at the factory, now run by Browns Manufacturing Limited, involved a 22-year-old who was mixing meat for cocktail sausages.

He was moving it to the next machine in the process when he reached through a gap and got his hand caught in the revolving mixer.

The man was taken to hospital and his middle finger had to be amputated, the Crown Office said in a statement.

He had to have physiotherapy and counselling for persistent nightmares after the incident.

Hall's of Scotland/Browns Manufacturing Limited pleaded guilty at Hamilton Sheriff Court on Friday to failing to ensure the dangerous parts of the machinery were inaccessible and not providing training for their staff.

It was fined £120,00 for the 2016 incident and £190,000 for the 2019 incident.

In both cases, the workers were not given sufficient training and safety measures were not in place.

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The company has since made changes to both machines and updated its training procedures.

Alistair Duncan, head of the health and safety investigation unit, said in a statement: "Both of these workers were left permanently disfigured by incidents that were foreseeable and easily avoided.

"Since these incidents, the company has installed guards and interlocks on these machines, as well as improved their training.

"Hopefully this prosecution and the sentence will remind employers that failure to fulfil their obligations can have serious consequences."