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20th March 2024

Pizza Company Is Fined £800,000 After Machinery Incidents

Pizzas on a conveyor belt

What’s Happened?

One of the nation’s largest producers of supermarket pizzas – providing millions of pizzas each year, has recently been fined £800,000 after two workers suffered serious injuries at its Lancashire factory.

The company was hit with a sizable fine after employees were seriously injured having being caught up in machinery during  two separate incidents:

In the first incident, one employee had his arm drawn into an inadequately guarded conveyor belt. The injury to his arm resulted in the removal of muscle and required a skin graft. He has not returned to work since the injury and has been diagnosed with hypersensitivity in the affected arm.
In a separate incident some 9 months later, another employee was working the night shift when he had part of his middle figure severed after his hand was drawn between a roller and a conveyor belt. This resulted in 2 operations and the loss of his middle finger and being off work for over 6 months.

HSE Investigation

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the following failures with the company’s machinery safety management arrangements:

  • The company did not adequately guard their machinery,
  • The company did not provide suitable and sufficient checks to ensure that their protective measures were working effectively, and,
  • The company allowed the disabling of guarding systems and access to dangerous parts of machinery.
  • The company appeared at Bolton Crown Court on 15th March 2024 and pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 (1) and 3 (1), of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act. The company was fined £800,000 and was ordered to pay £5,340 costs.

After the hearing, the HSE inspector involved in the case said: “This is one of the country’s major food companies.

“The injuries sustained by both of these workers have been truly life-changing.

“This case should send a message to industry about how important it is to understand the risks of bypassing guarding arrangements and to re-evaluate their own guarding arrangements and procedures to eliminate any access to dangerous parts of machinery.

“We will always be prepared to take action when companies fall short of their duties and responsibilities to protect their staff.”

If you have any queries regarding machinery safety, H&S Audits or risk assessments then do not hesitate to call our health and safety advice line on 0300 303 5228 or email us at

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