Walker Snack Foods Ltd in court for workplace injury

September 21, 2012

Walker, the prominent snack food producer, has landed up in court after a 400 kg pack of snack food waste fell on top of a worker subsequently causing him to break a leg.

The employee was working driving a forklift truck at the company’s site based in Lincoln, when the accident took place. He was attempting to place the block of waste into a bin on wheels when it overturned and fell on him. The accident caused a fracture in his lower leg.

It appears that waste was in pellet form that normally runs off the Quavers production line and drains into a large magnum bin. The bin is a plastic container with slots on its underside, designed to be lifted by a forklift truck. The pellets had formed into a large solid block, which was difficult to release from the magnum. The worker, along with an assistant, made use of the forklift to turn the magnum over so that the solid block fell on to the ground.

The block was then removed from the ground and into a wheeled bin, but then became stuck at the top. The two workers tried to move the bin but it tipped over causing the block of pellets to fall on top of one of them.

The injured worker was prevented from going to work for fifteen weeks as a result of his broken limb.

The HSE Inspector involved in this incident, Scott Wynne, said that it was a question of experience of the worker that was the factor that caused the accident, as the person involved was inexperienced and did not have the training to successfully carry out the task given to him.

This sort of task should have been supervised by an experienced worker and not given to somebody who was not aware of the risks associated with the job.