An incident in which a worker nearly lost a leg when it got caught in machinery has resulted in a £10,000 fine for a recycling company.
Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard on Friday how the 41-year-old man, who wishes to remain anonymous, was working at Roydon Polythene (Exports) Ltd’s factory in Swinton on 16 October 2013 when he was seriously injured.
He was trying to get a jammed glass-sorting machine working again at the firm’s Junction Eco Park plant, the court was told.
Trapped for two hours
Magistrates heard the man was lifted in the basket of a mobile elevated work platform onto a conveyor belt that was four metres above the ground.
His right leg became trapped in the machine as he was attempting to clear the blockage and he was stuck for over two hours until the emergency services could get him free, the court was told.
His leg was badly crushed and although doctors managed to save it after several operations, they still don’t know if he will ever regain full use, magistrates heard.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Roydon Polythene (Exports) Ltd after an investigation discovered its employees routinely used the cherry picker-like vehicle to get up and onto the conveyor to remove blockages from the unguarded, dangerous parts of the machine.
What’s more the conveyor was not fitted with guardrails to prevent workers falling from height, the court was told.
Roydon Polythene (Exports) Ltd, based on Rake Lane, Swinton, admitted breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Work at Height Regulations 2005 for not preventing access to the glass sorting machine’s dangerous parts or installing measures to prevent falls from the conveyor.
As well as the £10,000 fine the firm was ordered to pay prosecution costs amounting to £1,221.
If you have been hurt in an accident at work, get in touch with the solicitors at Accident Advice Helpline to see whether you could make a personal injury claim for compensation.