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Norfolk companies prosecuted after cleaner crushes hand
Two Norfolk companies have been fined after a cleaner's hand was crushed in machinery.
Richard Beane, 34, from Watton in Norfolk, was working as a cleaner for SGA House Services, which was contracted by Watton Produce Company to work at its Attleborough vegetable packing plant.
Norwich Magistrates' Court heard that in October 2010, Mr Beane was cleaning the underside of a conveyor belt on a carrot processing line when his left hand became trapped between two conveyor belts and was crushed.
Mr Beane's hand was severely damaged, and required extensive surgery and skin grafts. He was off work for nine months and has been left with only 45% use of his damaged hand.
A Health & Safety Executive investigation found that Watton Produce Company failed to protect the safety of its employees and contracted staff by not preventing access to dangerous parts of machinery. SGA House Services did not provide sufficient and suitable information, instruction, training and supervision to its employees, particularly in relation to the correct cleaning method of the moving belts on the underside of the conveyor.
"Mr Beane suffered an awful injury to his left hand which left him unable to use it for months," says
HSE Inspector Paul Unwin. "This was debilitating and traumatic.
"A simple guard on the conveyor belt as well as basic instruction and training on how to clean the equipment without being put at risk would have protected his hand from being dragged into the machinery. Organisations have a duty to protect their own workforce as well as contracted staff working on their premises.
"HSE will not hesitate to prosecute those who break the law in this way."
Watton Produce Company of Hargham Road, Shropham, Attleborough pleaded guilty to Regulation 11 of the provision and use of Work Equipment Regulations 1988 and was fined £6,000 with costs of £7,402.
SGA House services of Unit 1, Empire building, Trafalgar industrial Estate, Sovereign Way, Downham Market, pleaded guilty to Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £2,000 with costs of £2,467.
26th January 2012