October 18, 2018

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In Court

Fine after machinery guarding failure leads to partial amputation of a finger

An agency worker at a haulage and waste processing business had his hand drawn into an in running nip on a waste sorting conveyor while trying to clear a blockage beneath the belt.

Telford Magistrates Court was told how, on 27 September 2016, the 18-year-old reached in with his hand to remove the material causing the blockage when his hand was drawn in by the in-running nip on the conveyor system. He suffered partial amputation of his finger and a fractured elbow.

According to the HSE’s investigation, there was inadequate guarding around the conveyor belt to prevent workers hands being caught up in the conveyor.

Loosemores Transport Ltd of Battlefield, Shrewsbury pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,026.70.

HSE inspector Wendy Campbell said after the hearing: “A young man’s life has been changed because the company failed to ensure there was correct guarding on the conveyor belt.

“This should serve as a reminder to all companies to check their machinery guarding is adequate and prevents access to dangerous parts of machinery”.

Earlier this year, SHP reported that waste disposal had the highest fatality at work rate of any industrial sector.

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