Nestlé has been fined after an employee suffered life-changing injuries at its Newcastle upon Tyne factory.

The incident happened on November 30, 2020 when the man was pulled into a roller mechanism on a conveyor.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard how the maintenance technician was investigating a problem on the conveyor belt of a machine used to make chocolate candies. While checking the machine, his sleeve got caught in a roller, which pulled his left arm into the machine, pinning him between the roller and a treadmill.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident at Nestlé’s factory on Rowan Drive, Fawdon, Newcastle upon Tyne found the company failed to properly assess the risk created by rollers under the conveyor belt and had not protected the roller, which was a dangerous part.

It was foreseeable that employees would need to access this area and there was a clear risk of injury to employees coming into contact with this roller. Nestlé had previously been sued over a similar incident at its Halifax factory.

Nestle UK Ltd of City Place, Gatwick, West Sussex, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Supply and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £800 000, ordered to pay costs of £7776.50 and a victim fine surcharge of £190 at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on October 19.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector William Gilroy said: ‘This incident could easily have been avoided had Nestlé properly reviewed its plant and equipment security measures to ensure that access to dangerous parts was prevented.

“Nestlé was aware of this risk following a similar incident at its Halifax factory, but failed to take appropriate action.”

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