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Lincolnshire-based food manufacturer Bakkovor Fresh Cook Ltd has been fined £130,000 after an employee was crushed in an industrial cooking machine.

The employee sustained two broken ribs while working to clear a blocked water inlet on June 27, 2018.

The worker was crushed in the machine after its safety systems were over-ridden. The machine was worked on while it was live, but it should have been isolated before work on it began.

Bakkavor Fresh Cook Ltd, of Sluice Road in Holbeach St Marks, Spalding, pleaded guilty to one breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The firm said it was an isolated incident, but was fined £130,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,607.10.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the task was carried out by employees in this fashion on a regular basis and that the company should have been aware.

No risk assessment of the task had been completed and employees had not been provided with a safe system of work to carry it out.

It was found the lack of a system of work for the task, and the company’s failure to monitor how the work was done, caused employees to devise their own way of conducting the procedure. This included over-riding the safety systems and using unsafe working practices.

At the end of the trial, HSE inspector Tim Nicholson said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers.

“If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to this incident, alongside good monitoring of the way the work was done, the injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

In a statement to The Lincolnite, Bakkavor said: “We very much regret that one of our employees was injured at work in an accident that took place on June 27, 2018.

“As a major food producer, we take the health and safety of our colleagues extremely seriously and always seek to achieve the highest possible standards of health and safety.

“We took prompt and effective steps to respond to the incident and cooperated fully with the HSE’s investigation.

“This was an isolated incident in a site with an excellent record of health and safety; the employee recovered and continues to work in our business.”

A 32-year-old man is wanted after an alleged burglary at a burger takeaway in Spalding.

Marian Nitou is wanted in relation to the burglary, which is believed to have happened at Mr Burger on Station Street in the Lincolnshire town.

Nitou is also wanted for the breach of a court order.

Lincolnshire Police are appealing for assistance to locate Nitou. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact police on 101 or via email at [email protected] quoting occurrence number 21000114538.

Alternatively, it can be reported through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online here.

A school in Spalding will undergo a huge £7.2 million redevelopment as part of Lincolnshire County Council’s special education needs school investment.

The refurbishment project at The Priory School in Spalding will offer improved specialist facilities for 127 pupils aged between four and 19, helping the school transition from an 11-19 age ambulant school to an all-needs facility.

The extension will be built on the existing setup of the school, with nine new classrooms, a social recreation space, life skills room, increased toilet provision of suitable need and meeting space.

It is part of Lincolnshire County Council’s wider £86 million SEND (Special Education Needs and Disabilities) school investment programme.

The school extension should be ready in time for the next academic year in September 2022. | Photo: Willmott Dixon

The project was secured by national contractor Willmott Dixon, and it will become the fourth scheme delivered by the firm within Lincolnshire, delivering 500 additional SEND school places in all.

It is hoped that the development will be complete by September 1, 2022 to align with the next academic year.

Councillor Mrs Patricia Bradwell, executive member for children’s services at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The council wants to ensure that all children can access high-quality education, as near to their family and local community as possible. To help achieve that, we’re investing £86m in improving our special schools over the next few years.

“Our ambitious programme will mean more pupils with SEND can attend a local school rather than having to travel large distances for their education, which will be of great benefit to both the children and their families.

“Despite the pandemic, we’re making excellent progress. Following completed improvements at schools in Boston, Spalding and Grantham, works are currently underway in Louth, Spilsby and Bourne. I’m delighted that we’re now in a position to start the improvements at The Priory School as well.”

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