Recycling Plant Accident

A recycling company has been fined £12,000 after an incident in which an employee lost his right forearm.

The employee was walking past a baling machine used to compact cardboard when he tripped on a scaffolding tube in front of the machine. As he fell his arm landing in the machine as it was operating.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that a protective guard had been removed, which allowed access to a moving part of the machinery.

This constituted a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, to which the employers pleaded guilty.

Regulation 11(1) of those regulations states;

“Every employer shall ensure that effective measures are taken to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock-bar before any part of a person enters a danger zone.”

In addition, employers have a duty under regulation 12(3) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 to ensure that;

“As far as is reasonably practicable, every floor in a workplace and the surface of every traffic route in a workplace shall be kept free from obstructions and from any article which may cause a person to slip, trip or fall.”

Health and safety laws are in place to protect employees whilst at work. Had the regulations been complied with in this case, then it appears that this devastating accident could have been avoided.

If you have been injured as a result of an accident at work, Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP can advise you.