Owner in Court After Using Machine an Hour After it Injured Worker
A part time worker had to have his hand amputated after getting it caught in a defected meat slicer in October 2014, the employee worked at Ash Food Fair on Witton Road, Aston. It was discovered however that the machine was used a mere hour after the incident after being washed with hot water and fairy liquid.
The worker, Nasa Iqbal, lost all of his fingers and attempts to put his hand back together failed. The shop owner, Akhtar Khan, previously admitted to a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.
He is due to be sentenced at the city’s crown court in February. Prosecutor for Birmingham City Council, Barry Berlin, said the supermarket employed three to four people and sold fresh and packaged products. The mincer according to Berlin, which was kept in meat room, should have contained a guard to stop users putting their hand in a hole, but it had broken off about a month before 37 year-old Iqbal lost his fingers. Staff had been reportedly using a plunger to stuff meat into the machine since the breakage.
Fellow workers heard Iqbal screaming on the morning of the incident as he placed his right hand into the machine, an ambulance was called straight away. Three of Iqbal’s fingers were recovered by paramedics. A police officer who came into the shop an hour later discovered the machine was still being used.
Mr Berlin said, “He found, not withstanding the accident, the unguarded mincer was still being used to mince meat products falling through into the lower opening.”
The following evening two officers from city council found that meat and herbs were still being passed through the machine. One of the employees admitted that washing liquid had been used to clean it. A prohibition notice was issued banning its use until stronger chemicals were used to disinfect it.
Simon Morgan, defending, said arrangements were made to repair the mincer but there was an unacceptable delay before the accident occurred.