A distressing work accident at an Essex vegetable nursery severed an employee’s arm, a court has heard.
Surgeons reattached the limb, but the 39-year-old’s arm has not regained grip, feeling or movement since the accident on April 30 last year.
Physicians said the limb will always be seriously impacted, with the man suffering regular pain around the wound point.
The worker, who has not gone back to Nazeing-based Glenholme Nursery, had only been in the job four months.
Chelmsford magistrates fined Glenholme £18,000 on Tuesday, after it pleaded guilty to safety failings following a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation.
The accident happened when the man’s arm was pulled into the machine’s unguarded nip point as he tried to tense fibre sheeting destined for the apparatus.
The machine was used to gather up this sheeting containing plant and vegetable waste before slicing them up and expelling them via a chute into a company skip.
Glenholme’s failure to identify the dangers presented by the device was central to this machinery accident, the court heard.
In addition, the HSE investigation found the company had not put safe working systems in place. This meant that workers routinely tensed moving sheets themselves by hand.
This brought them precariously near to the apparatus, putting them at severe danger of entanglement.
Glenholme was also told to pay costs of £862.25 and a victim surcharge of £120 after pleading guilty to the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: March 12, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown