Company fined after worker loses his arm in conveyor belt accident

A waste recycling plant has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an employee lost part of his arm as a result of a conveyor belt accident.

Lincoln Crown Court heard how on 26 April 2015 an employee of Mid-UK Recycling Ltd was working as a line operator in the Material Recovery Facility building. Earlier that morning blockages had occurred on the line resulting in waste becoming wrapped around the axle stopping a lower conveyor.

Whilst removing the waste from the axle the employee’s glove got dragged into the in-running nip between the belt and the conveyor’s powered roller. This resulted in his left arm needing to be amputated above the elbow.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that the company had failed to prevent access to dangerous parts of the conveyor. They also discovered that the castell key system had essentially been bypassed allowing the system to be operated in automatic mode with persons still inside the enclosure.

Lincolnshire based Mid UK Recycling Limited pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act. The company was fined £1.275 million and ordered to pay costs of £45,065.

There are heavy fines for businesses that fail to follow health and safety regulations. To ensure your business is compliant and avoid a financial penalty, contact our health and safety consultant, Mark Dalton, today.