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Brewery fined £30k over broken foot

A UK brewery has been fined nearly £30,000 after an employee broke his foot when it got trapped in a rotating stirrer, known as a mash tun.

Wye Valley Brewery was fined nearly £30,000 following the incident

The accident happened at Wye Valley Brewery in Herefordshire in February 2013 when a 34-year-old employee entered an empty mash tun, a large steel vessel used to cook barley in hot water, to clean it.

Unknown to the employee, the stirrer had been left running and his right foot became caught.

The man was rescued by colleagues and was off work for two days having suffered a broken foot, but has since returned to work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the incident could have been prevented if the company had assessed the risks and taken appropriate action. The investigation also found there was no safe system of work or an emergency rescue procedure.

Wye Valley Brewery was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,632 by Herefordshire Magistrates Court on 20 January after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety regulations.

Following the case, HSE inspector Tariq Khan said: “Wye Valley Brewery had advice and information about devising safe systems of work for entry into confined spaces, but ignored it and failed to consider the risks to its employees.

“As a result, a man suffered a painful injury. He was very fortunate that colleagues heard his cries for help and managed to rescue him in time.”

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