A major glass recycling company from West Yorkshire has been fined after a teenage worker had his arm crushed in a machine.
The 18-year-old, who was employed by a local staffing agency, had been working as a temp at Reuse Collections Ltd – which trades as Berryman, in Pontefract – for varying periods over the course of six months.
He suffered a fractured upper arm in the incident on 15 June 2012, which required
lengthy surgery to put right. Surgeons had to use a combination of bone from his hip and metal rods to rebuild his arm.
Wakefield Magistrates heard how the worker had been asked by his supervisor to clean a machine used to separate glass from waste material. The machine was still running, however, and his left hand and arm was drawn between a rotating metal drum and a moving conveyor belt as he tried to carry out the task.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into what happened found the machine had been totally unguarded, providing ready access by workers to dangerous moving parts. It told the court that the company had relied on employees to carry out cleaning carefully to avoid contact with the moving parts.
In addition, there was no work system in place to make sure the machine was isolated and safely locked off before cleaning was undertaken.
Reuse Collections Ltd, trading as Berryman, of Lidgate Crescent, Langthwaite Business Park, South Kirkby, Pontefract, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £3,638 in full costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Bradley Wigglesworth claimed the incident could have been avoided had the machine had adequate guarding.
“There is no excuse for companies to operate machinery without protecting employees and other workers from the dangerous parts,” he said.
“The requirement for guarding is well known and recognised across industry not least because the risks are obvious.”
An arm injury can affect a person’s ability to work, so it is vital they claim for compensation to cover any time off.
Accident Advice Helpline can help when it comes to making a personal injury claim of this nature, whether it’s anything from a minor sprain to a serious fracture, so if this applies to you then get in touch on our helpline – 0800 689 0500.
Source: Let’s Recycle