Cosmetic Manufacturing Company Faces £300,000 Fine Following Worker’s Finger Amputation

A cosmetic manufacturing company in West Yorkshire has been fined £300,000 after a worker suffered the amputation of a finger while cleaning a machine.

The incident occurred at Orean Personal Care Limited’s facility in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, on 8 October 2021. The employee was overseeing five colleagues using a tube filling machine to fill products that required heat. During the cleaning process, necessary due to machine contamination, a part of the machine shifted, trapping the worker’s finger and causing a significant injury. The middle finger was amputated, and the individual continues to experience pain, potentially requiring further surgery.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed that the interlocked guard had been bypassed to enable the machine to operate with the guard door open. The associated risks were not adequately managed, exposing various employees, from machine operators to cleaning staff.

On 16 January 2024, at Leeds Magistrates’ Court, Orean Personal Care Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. In addition to the £300,000 fine, the company was ordered to pay £4,511 in costs.

Following the hearing, HSE Inspector Justine Lee emphasized the importance of preventing access to moving machinery at all times, particularly during maintenance and cleaning activities. Lee stated, “The use of effective guarding is an absolute duty and, when complied with, will prevent this type of injury.”