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Pendle man found guilty of health and safety failings

Published: Wednesday, 3rd May 2017

A Pendle man has been found guilty of health and safety failings after an employee sustained a serious life changing injury when using a faulty mincer in his butcher’s shop.

Asif Nazir had reported the failing equipment at Maria’s Butcher in Nelson a number of times to his employer Nadeem Qasim before his tragic accident in October 2015.

Mr Nazir amputated his right thumb, index finger and the tip of his middle finger. He also suffered lacerations to his middle finger.

Mr Qasim, 47, of Sackville Street in Brierfield, ran Maria’s Butcher within Maria’s Cash and Carry in Bradley Road, Nelson.

Last Friday (28 April) he pleaded guilty to two offences in October 2015 but the faulty equipment dates back to May 2015 when Mr Nazir first reported the mincing machine as faulty.

At Preston Crown Court Mr Qasim was given a suspended five months prison sentence and ordered to pay a £3,500 fine and £2,500 towards the prosecution costs.

Summing up Judge Parry said: “The machine’s guard was damaged to the point it was blatantly obvious that the blade was exposed.

“Also the on/off switch was not working. Both in combination demonstrate how you completely abandoned your health and safety responsibilities.

“Sadly a catastrophic injury occurred. You were in Pakistan in September 2015 but before you went Mr Nazir told you again that the machine was faulty in two respects.

“Yet again you did nothing to fix it.

“On 29 October 2015, Mr Nazir turned the machine off and put his hand in the machine to clear meat out.

“The machine switched itself back on and his hand went through the mincer, amputating his right thumb, his right index finger and partially amputating the tip of the middle finger.

“Mr Nazir is right handed, making this injury all the more tragic.”

Mr Nazir spent a week in hospital under the care of specialist plastic surgeons, undergoing very painful procedures.

He is unable to fully interact with his children and unable to return to work as a butcher.

Philip Mousdale, Pendle Council’s Corporate Director, said: “Mr Qasim acted with total disregard for his employees, putting profit before safety.

“Please let this be a warning to others that turning a blind eye to health and safety can have catastrophic consequences.”