Mushroom farm fined after employee suffered injury

A BUSINESS has just been fined �32,000 due to an incident where an employee’s arm was pulled into one of its machines.

Drimbawn UK Ltd, which operates The Mushroom Farm in Stock Lane, Langford pleaded guilty to North Somerset Courthouse to two offences.

Firstly of failing to make sure its machinery was safeguarded and also failing to provide proper training for this machinery, which caused serious injury to its employee Kryzstif Moskalik, aged 32 from Weston.

Prosecutor Christine Haberfield said: “Mr Moskalik was not given any training for the machine. This was the first time he had used it and there was no-one else there to supervise.”

Mr Moskalik used the machine for the first time on November 18, 2010 when the accident occurred. Ms Haberfield spoke on behalf of Mr Moskalik, as he is originally from Poland and speaks very little English.

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She told the court Mr Moskalik took over from a supervisor who was on holiday, which involved using a specialist washing machine to clean the nets used to cover mushroom beds at the farm.

The nets were fed through the machine to be washed, but the clamping mechanism which held them in place was ineffective. This meant employees had to use their hands to hold the nets in place. This policy had become widely accepted on the farm.

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It was at this point that Mr Moskalik felt his hand and arm become entangled in the machine. He could not reach the safety button and had to call for help. He was then rushed to hospital in an air ambulance. His arm was fractured and he suffered severe soft tissue damage.

Simon Hunka defending said: “This is a company with no previous convictions and they want to offer their deepest sympathies. They know full well they have let him down and will make sure this will not happen again.”

The company was also ordered to pay �3,624.59 in costs.

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