Magistrates in Colchester have fined a waste and recycling firm £28,000 after one of its workers suffered serious arm injuries in an incident involving a conveyor belt.
GBN Services Ltd, of Broomfield Road in Chelmsford, Essex, was also ordered to pay £2,777 in costs after admitting a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The incident happened on the firm’s premises at the Maple River Industrial Estate in Harlow on May 29 last year.
Arm drawn between belts
The 30-year-old worker, who wishes to remain anonymous, was working on the conveyor belt on a new waste-separating machine and was trying to realign it.
A protective guard had been removed to allow him to carry out the work and the power had been switched off.
Once he had completed his task, the man switched the power back on, which led to his left arm being drawn in between the two conveyor belts.
He suffered serious crush injuries to his arm and was taken to hospital, but has now returned to work and is currently on a part-time shift which involves light duties.
Serious safety failings identified
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated following the incident and found that GBN had not implemented its own lock-off and isolation procedures at the Harlow site.
GBN has five recycling plants in south-east England and following its findings the HSE visited its site in Southend, where it had to issue three Prohibition Notices to stop dangerous activities with immediate effect.
It also issued another notice requiring the firm to make a number of improvements.
Colchester Magistrates’ Court also heard that GBN had been served with a number of enforcement notices in the past, including one where a similar guarding failing had been identified at a London site.
Speaking after the verdict, HSE inspector Corinne Godfrey said most of the deaths and 40,000 injuries that happen each year due to accidents involving machines are preventable.
She added that all employers have a legal duty of care to make sure their safety provisions are up to scratch at all times, adding that “guards and safety systems are required for a reason”.
Making a claim for an arm injury with Accident Advice Helpline
If you are wondering whether you can make a claim for arm injury compensation, Accident Advice Helpline can advise.
We’ve been in the personal injury industry for many years and during that time we’ve helped hundreds of people make successful claims for workplace accidents.
Source: Let’s Recycle
Date Published: June 21, 2014
Author: David Brown