An incident has come to IMCA’s attention in which a member of the galley staff sustained severe injuries. The individual was grinding tomatoes when his arm got trapped in the feeder tube of a meat grinder machine. His colleagues freed him from the machine and transported him to the onsite clinic in a private vehicle. The victim received immediate treatment at the onsite clinic. When he was stabilised, he was transferred to a local hospital. During emergency surgery at the hospital his right hand had to be amputated.
The on-going and as yet incomplete investigation has revealed the following:
- The equipment was not properly configured for safe use – see photographs;
- All the necessary guards were not in place;
- The machine was being operated by someone who was not fully familiar with how to operate it;
- The machine was not being used for the purpose for which it was intended. The following toolbox talk/safety meeting points were suggested:
- What kind of machinery is there in your galley or catering facility that could cause harm;
- Are these machines being operated safely? Are all the necessary guards in place and functional;
- Are the cooks and galley staff trained and competent to use the machines properly and safely;
- Is there anything that can be done to further improve galley safety;
- Are your emergency response procedures adequate to deal with an injury of this sort.
Members may wish to refer to the following similar incidents (key words: hand, finger, guard, removed, galley). All of these incidents except the final one have as a cause, failure to have physical safeguards in place to avoid finger or hand injuries.
- Use of hand-held disc grinders
- Injury while grinding without PPE
- Lost time injury (LTI): Incident with circular saw leads to loss of thumb
- Finger and hand injuries (in the galley).
IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.
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