Unsuitable Health and Safety Compliance

A recycling company has been fined for unsuitable machine guarding.  Street Fuel Limited, was fined £5,000 with £893 costs and a victim surcharge of £120 at Medway Magistrates Court after a worker sustained arm injuries whilst working on a baler machine.

The incident occurred on 7 January 2014, when an operative employee of Street Fuel Limited, based at Chatham Docks, Gillingham, noticed a problem with the needle at the rear of the baler machine.  The machine did not have suitable guarding of dangerous parts and employee reached through the gap in the guards to pull off a hanging wire.  At the same time the machine bed moved forward and trapped his arm between the moveable bed and the side of the machine.

The court heard (5th May) that it was common practice for employees to put their hands through gaps in the guarding to solve issues with the closest needles on the machine as it saved time turning off the machine.

Street Fuel Limited, of Museum Street, London pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.