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Norfolk companies prosecuted after cleaner's hand crushed

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 Limited which was contracted by Watton Produce Company Limited to work at their Attleborough vegetable packing plant.

Today, Norwich Magistrates' Court heard that on the 8 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 and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Watton Produce Company Limited failed to protect the safety of their 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 their employees, particularly in relation to the correct cleaning method of the moving belts on the underside of the conveyor.

Watton Produce Company Limited of Hargham Road, Shropham, Attleborough pleaded guilty to Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1988 and were fined £6,000 with costs of £7,402.

SGA House services Limited of Unit 1, Empire building, Trafalgar industrial Estate, Sovereign Way, Downham Market pleaded guilty to Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at work etc. Act 1974 and were fined £2,000 with costs of £2,467.


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