Moy Park, Victor Foster Poultry Services fined in injury case

Moy Park and Victor Foster Poultry Services received fines related to a 2017 incident when a worker was injured by a forklift in a barn that was mostly dark.

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Moy Park and Victor Foster Poultry Services pleaded guilty to health and safety offenses and have received fines related to a 2017 incident that caused life-changing injuries to a worker.

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) announced that during an appearance in the Craigavon Crown Court, Moy Park was fined GBP125,000 (US$169,870) while Victor Foster Poultry Services was fined GBP18,000 (US$24,460).

According to HSENI, an investigation revealed that a 31-year-old employee of Victor Foster was working in a commercial chicken house at a site in Moira, and while working in dark conditions, he received multiple injuries when he was struck by a forklift. This incident occurred on December 1, 2017.

The only light sources in the chicken house at the time of the incident consisted of blue lights on the forklift truck, and head lamps worn by the workers who had provided their own equipment, HSENI stated, and the clothing that Moy Park did provide the workers were dark blue. Both companies were found to have failed in their legal responsibilities to ensure safe working conditions in the chicken house where a forklift truck was required to operate in the same area as pedestrian workers.

HSENI didn’t elaborate on the type of injuries, other than describing them as “life-changing” and “crush injuries.”

Anne Cassidy, HSENI inspector said: “This was an avoidable incident that resulted in life changing injuries to an employee because the principles of managing workplace transport were not applied. The very real risks associated with forklift trucks are well-known. In this particular case, reasonable measures to prevent vehicle collisions with workers were not in place in a work area where there was an increased risk due to the dark conditions.”

“The risk assessment and safe working procedures did not identify suitable controls that could easily have been implemented.”

A report from Belfast Live said that Victor Foster Poultry Services was contracted with Moy Park to load chickens for the company.

This is not the first time Victor Foster Poultry Services has faced problems. In 2018, the company had its Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) license pulled after the company was found to have breached the GLAA’s licensing standards.

Moy Park is a subsidiary of Pilgrim’s Pride, which purchased the company from JBS in 2017.

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