A waste recycling company has been fined £1.2m after an employee lost part of his arm in a conveyor belt.
Lincoln Crown Court heard how the employee of Mid-UK Recycling Ltd was working as a line operator in the building known as Unit 4 MRF (Material Recovery Facility).
On the morning of 26 April 2015, the day of the incident, blockages had occurred on this line and waste had become wrapped around the axle stopping a lower conveyor.
While removing waste from this axle the employee’s glove got dragged into the in-running 'nip' between the belt and the powered roller of the conveyor. He lost left arm above the elbow after it had to be amputated.
An investigation by HSE revealed that the company had failed to prevent access to dangerous parts of the conveyor. The castell key system had been bypassed allowing the system to be operated in automatic mode with people still inside the enclosure.
Mid UK Recycling Limited (now known as MUKR Limited) of Summit House in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to a breach of section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) and was fined £1.275 million and ordered to pay costs of £45,065.59
Speaking after the hearing, investigating inspector Scott Wynne said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided had the company ensured that the system designed to keep people away from dangerous machinery was properly maintained. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
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