A Birmingham trader was today (10 March 2015) fined £4,000 and given a suspended eight month prison sentence after pleading guilty to a health and safety offence relating to a man losing his right hand after it was mutilated in a meat mincing machine.
Birmingham City Council brought a case against Akhtar Khan, 57, who owns Ash Food Fare, in Witton Road, Aston, after an employee’s hand had to be amputated after it was severely injured as he used the mincer on 25 October 2012.
Khan, who was prosecuted under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, was also ordered during sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court to pay to court costs of £21,869. His prison sentence is suspended for 12 months.
The employee – Nasar Iqbal, 32 – had gone to prepare some meat. As he fed meat in to the machine with his right hand, it was drawn into the mincer’s screw feed mechanism and his hand was so seriously injured that it had to be amputated at hospital. None of his fingers could be recovered to be surgically reattached.
The metal guard which should have been in place to prevent access to this feeding mechanism had apparently broken off several weeks prior to the accident and had not been replaced.
Councillor Barbara Dring, Chair of the city council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “This case shows what can happen if a business fails to comply with minimum health and safety requirements: in this instance, a man lost his hand in a horrific accident.
“Guards are fitted to dangerous machinery to protect the user and, as the owner of the business, Mr Khan should have immediately taken the broken machine out of use to protect his employees. This awful accident could have been prevented, so I am pleased to hear he has pleaded guilty to his offence.
“Our officers will continue to take action where health and safety standards are not met.”