Supermarket chain Waitrose has been fined £25,000 after a teenage worker had his arm crushed in a machine at a Birmingham store.
The 17-year-old broke both bones in his arm and was trapped in the machine for an hour and a half, Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard.
He had to undergo operations, including a bone graft, after using the cardboard baling machine at the store in Hall Green.
Waitrose Ltd pleaded guilty to charges under health and safety legislation in a prosecution brought by Birmingham City Council. The first charge related to failing to provide a safe system for using the machine, for which the company was fined the maximum of £20,000.
It was fined £5,000 for a second charge that it failed to carry out a sufficient risk assessment for the young people it employed.
As well as the fine, the company was ordered to pay almost £5,000 costs.
Councillor Neil Eustace, chairman of Birmingham City Council’s public protection committee, said: “Health and safety legislation is important as it protects the public and workers, particularly young workers as in this case.
“This shows that we will not hesitate to prosecute any company when appropriate, big or small, if they fail in their duty to protect people.”
A spokeswoman for Waitrose said the company was committed to high standards of health and safety.
She said: “When this accident occurred in February 2006, Waitrose immediately took steps to ensure that an accident of this nature does not happen again.
“These measures included the introduction of a rigorous three-year safety training programme for all Waitrose branches.
“Waitrose has also committed to improving existing health and safety policies for all its shops.”