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Biffa prosecuted after worker loses finger tips

Biffa has been fined £20,000 for breaching health and safety regulations after an agency worker lost the tip of two fingers while manoeuvring a sorting machine.

The incident took place in February last year at Biffa’ MRF in Derby.

Derby Magistrates’ Court heard the glove the 28-year-old worker was wearing became entangled on the moving chains which severed the tips of his little and ring fingers on his right hand as he was trying to remove tape that had become wrapped around the external chain drive.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the machine had been fitted with the external chain drive following a breakdown and brought back into use without it being adequately guarded.

Workers did not received adequate training in the safe isolation of the drive, according to the HSE.

HSE inspector Edward Walker said: “The company was fully aware of the requirement for the chains to be guarded and had made arrangements for guards to be added later that week, yet still allowed the machine to be used before that happened.

“As a result, a man suffered a painful injury that could have been prevented.”

Biffa admitted two counts of breaching the Health and Safety Work Act and was ordered to pay costs of £1,542 on top of the fine.

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