£60,000 Fine after Worker Lost Arm

An international waste recycling firm has been fined £60,000 after a worker lost part of his arm in an industrial incident in Basildon.

Daniel Ali, 35, was working as a process operator at Coolrec UK Ltd, in Harvey Road, Burnt Mills Industrial Estate, Basildon, on 4 April 2008 when his arm got caught in a conveyer belt. Doctors later had to amputate it.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the parent company Coolrec Group BV, of Croy 25, 5653 LC Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Coolrec Group BV was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay £22,000 costs at Basildon Magistrates’ Court today after it admitted breaching Section 6(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The court heard that Mr Ali, of Laindon, was picking plastic off a recycling line which handled old computer monitors and television sets. A pulverising machine smashed the screens into smaller parts before operators removed materials from the conveyor.

Mr Ali had bent down to clear some wire from the ground when his glove became caught in an unguarded conveyor running underneath the one he was working on. He was trapped for approximately 45 minutes until emergency services freed him, but doctors could not save his arm and it was amputated between the elbow and shoulder.

HSE Inspector Vicky Fletcher said:

“This incident was completely avoidable and has left a man in the prime of his life without his right arm. Coolrec Group BV could and should have ensured the conveyor belts on the recycling line were properly guarded in order to prevent incidents as this. “This case highlights just how important health and safety at work is. The law is there to protect the workforce and when it is not adhered to people can suffer life-changing injuries such as this one.

Lighthouse Safety has developed a Premises Risk Assessment, which can usually be conducted during a one day visit. This snap shot view of your workplace aims to highlight shortcomings and suggest the corrective action in order for you to prioritise your actions. After which, you are then able to make informed choices about the provision of a Safe Place of Work for your staff. Why not call our office today for more information.

March 15, 2011 | Categories: Lighthouse Blog |
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