Severed fingers spark mass meeting



Following two industrial accidents since July at Katsouris Fresh Foods, Park Royal, Wembley, where two workers have lost fingers, GMB has called a mass meeting of it members who it fears are at immediate risk working in the food factory. The meeting will plan a campaign to force Katsouris to improve the safety at its three Park Royal sites and is likely to include demonstrations outside major High Street stores such as TESCO, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury and Waitrose all of whom are customers of Katsouris.



GMB member Dimple Muit lost the top of the middle finger of her right hand while using a machine that she had already reported as faulty. Her suffering was compounded when her Katsouris manager refused to call an ambulance, offering her nothing but tissues to staunch the flow of blood from her damaged hand. When she was finally taken to hospital by car when was left by herself outside the A&E unit bleeding heavily from her injured hand and holding a plastic bag containing her injured finger in the other. The delay meant that her finger could not be re-attached. Dimple will be off work for eight to ten weeks and is in constant pain.

Shortly after Dimple’s accident her work colleague Nitin Chokshi suffered an accident at the Katsouris site where a large rubbish bin fell on a workers hand severing the tops of two of his fingers of his left hand. GMB has lodged personal injury claims for both injured members.

GMB has written to the Health and Safety Executive demanding action against the company which has been served with seven Health and Safety Executive improvement notices in recent years with no visible improvement in the safety

Hiten Vaidya, GMB Health & Safety expert said, “Getting compensation for people injured by Katsouris is not the point. No one should go to work fit and health and leave it injured. Both these accidents were avoidable. The company has to clean up its health and safety record which is just unacceptable. It has a duty in law to provide a safety working environment and it is clearly failing to do so. The HSE that is supposed to enforce safety in the workplace have been worse than useless. It is time for them to come on board with us and sort this company out.”

Katsouris Fresh Foods employees 2,500 people in its three Park Royal sites which provide ready meals to major retailers like Tesco, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury and Waitrose.




August 2006

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