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Waste firm worker injury leads to £18,000 fine

Haulage and waste processing firm Loosemores Transport, based in Battlefield, Shrewsbury, has been fined £18,000 following an injury to one of its workers.

Telford magistrates’ court heard that on 27 September 2016, the 18-year-old agency worker was trying to clear a blockage beneath a waste sorting conveyor. But his hand was drawn in by the in-running nip on the conveyer system, and he suffered partial amputation of his finger and a fractured elbow.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that there was inadequate guarding around the conveyor belt to stop workers’ hands from being caught.

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

HSE inspector Wendy Campbell said: “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 that their machinery guarding is adequate and prevents access to dangerous parts of machinery.”

Loosemores declined to comment.

The HSE has focused on the waste and recycling industry with another three-month inspections blitz, in a bid to tackle what it said was one of the worst records of any industrial sector.

A series of unannounced inspections of waste management sites began earlier this month. HSE staff will focus on management of workplace transport and machinery safety.

It is the second time the HSE has targeted the waste sector. It previously ran a campaign of inspections from October to December 2017 in response to incidents such as the death of contract worker Austin Thomas at UPM’s Shotton plant.

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