The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has prosecuted a company that produces and supplies wood shavings for use as horse bedding, after a worker suffered a serious foot injury at its site in Andover, Hampshire.
On 26 October 2015, Philip Eyers was working for Bedmax Limited and was operating the log deck – part of a machine that shreds trees. However, his foot slipped and became lodged in a gap, exposing him to the wheels of the machine which conveyed the logs.
The severity of the injuries to his toes meant his big toe was cut back several times, his other four toes were fractured – and he eventually needed reconstructive surgery.
A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that a panel that would have prevented access had been removed and was not replaced where the employee was working.
The HSE found that Bedmax Limited had failed to protect its employee from dangerous parts of machinery.
At Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court, Bedmax Limited – whose office is at Belford in Northumberland – pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
The company was fined £17,293.60 and ordered to pay costs of £623.60.
After sentencing, HSE Inspector Andrew Johnson said:
“Bedmax fell below the expected standard – the necessary panel that would have prevented the incident was missing, rendering the man vulnerable as soon as he took to his task.
“This was a fundamental and basic health and safety failing, which should have been easily avoided.”
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