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Docks recycling company fined for unsuitable machine guarding

5 May 2015

Recycling company, Street Fuel Limited, was fined £5,000 with £893 costs and a victim surcharge of £120 at Medway Magistrates Court after a worker sustained arm injuries whilst working on a baler machine.

On 7 January 2014, an operative employee of Street Fuel Limited, based at Chatham Docks, Gillingham, noticed a problem with the needle at the rear of the baler machine. The machine did not have suitable guarding of dangerous parts and employee reached through the gap in the guards to pull off a hanging wire. At the same time the machine bed moved forward and trapped his arm between the moveable bed and the side of the machine.

The court heard that it was common practice for employees to put their hands through gaps in the guarding to solve issues with the closest needles on the machine as it saved time turning off the machine.

Street Fuel Limited, of Museum Street, London pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  2. Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations1998 states: “Every employer shall ensure that measures are taken which are effective – (a) to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or (b) to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock-bar before any part of a person enters a danger zone.”
  3. Further HSE news releases are available at
  4. More information about maintaining machinery safely can be found at

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