Thursday, 22 January 2015

Wye Valley Brewery fined £29,632 after worker was injured in a confined space

Wye Valley Brewery was fined £29,632 (inc. costs) on 20th January 2015 after a worker suffered a broken foot when it became trapped in a rotating stirrer.

The circumstances were:
  • Wye Valley Brewery had advice about safe systems of work for confined spaces but ignored it.
  • As a result there had been no risk assessments on entering confined spaces.
  • There were no systems for controlling work in confined spaces or for isolating equipment.
  • There was no emergency rescue procedure.
  • On 20 February 2013 an employee entered a mash tun, which is a large steel vessel.
  • The stirrer in this vessel was still running.
  • His right foot became caught in the stirrer.
  • He was rescued by colleagues and was off work for two days.
  • He has since returned to work.

The HSE inspector said:

“Wye Valley Brewery had advice and information about devising safe systems of work for entry into confined spaces, but ignored it and failed to consider the risks to its employees. As a result, a man suffered a painful injury.  He was very fortunate that colleagues heard his cries for help and managed to rescue him in time.”

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