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Waste company fined after worker loses toe

27 September 2018

A WASTE management and recycling company was sentenced after an employee sustained serious injuries to his foot while adjusting a waste shredding machine.

Chesterfield Magistrates Court Heard how on 17 May 2016 an employee was adjusting the shredder to prevent the rotating teeth of the shredder catching on the mesh sieve on the bottom of the machine. While he was kneeling on the open side door of the machine; used to access shredder, he used the machines remote controller to rotate under power the shredder. His foot was caught between the rotating shredder and the machine bed resulting in amputation of his big toe and part of another toe on his right foot.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company failed to ensure that their employees had been trained to operate the machine safely. The company did not have any effective supervision in place to ensure that operators were following safe procedures. The company had no monitoring arrangements in place which may have highlighted to them that there were problems with the application of the systems of work, training and supervision. Had employees been trained to operate the machine safely they would not have been on the machine before testing the powered rotation of the shredder.

CP Environmental Limited pleaded Guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 and were fined £34,000 and ordered to pay costs of £19226.35.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Mr David Keane said “This incident could have easily been avoided and it was fortunate that the injuries suffered weren’t more serious. Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working, and to properly monitor and supervise those systems.”