Health and Safety Consultancy Services for SMEs in Birmingham, West Midlands and beyond

Famous Chocolate Retailers Thornton’s Prosecuted After Accident
Posted by David Cant on January 13, 2012

Factory Work

Even large, well-known companies are failing their employees when it comes to health and safety. These large high street chains are well aware of what is required of them by law, and know where to go when look for a health and safety consultant to help ensure their workers are well looked after and protected as they go about their duties. Unfortunately even with this knowledge some retailers breach the regulations and someone ends up injured, or worse.

Finger Caught in the Parts of a Machine

Ellen Yardly was going about her duties as she worked for Thornton’s and their factory in Somercotes.  The 37 year old was operating a machine which wraps the chocolates and drops them into a tray below through a chute. The chute had become covered in caramel so while the machine was still running she decided to use a cloth to give it a quick clean before the next batch of chocolates came through to be wrapped.

The cloth became entangled in some of the parts which were still rotating inside the machine. As a result Ms Yardly’s hand was pulled into the machined and her finger fractured as it came into contact with the internal parts. The injury meant that Ms Yardly was unable to work and needed to have ten weeks off to recover.

Inadequate Protection on the Wrapping Machine

The Health and Safety Executive carried out an investigation into the accident to discover what went wrong. They found that there was a guard placed on the wrapping machine, but it was not adequate and did not provide full protection.  The HSE then investigated further by carrying out an audit on all of the machines in the factory. This audit showed that many of the machines were in need of attention such as by replacing or repairing guards to ensure the dangerous parts could not be accessed unintentionally.

Thornton’s were prosecuted at the Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court where they pleaded guilty to breaking two regulations which were:

  • Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  • Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

The court proceeded to fine Thornton’s £20,000 and they were also made to pay the costs of the claim which totalled £7,680.

Request an Audit from Health and Safety Consultants

One of the health and safety services that can be requested is a full health and safety audit. An audit is an excellent way of fully examining your work place and located areas where the health and safety policies are lacking.

Health and Safety consultants offer audits to businesses looking to protect their workers and make sure that they are staying on the right side of the legislations, regulations and laws concerning health and safety. By seeing what is lacking it is possible to implement positive changes that will result in a safe environment for everyone. To find out more about the health and safety services such as an audit contact the experts at Veritas Consulting, call 0800 1488 677 today.


Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME's favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick.

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This post has been filed in: Health and Safety Services, Workplace Health and Safety

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