UK Firm Paying $101,000 in Amputation Case

The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted Coolrec Group BV, which is based in the Netherlands, for an April 2008 incident in England where a worker's arm was caught in a moving conveyor belt. The company is paying a $96,300 fine and $35,320 in costs.

A Dutch international waste recycling company will pay $101,000 in connection with an April 2008 accident at a British subsidiary that cost a worker his arm. The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted Coolrec Group BV, which is based in the Netherlands, and the company has been fined $96,300 plus $35,320 in costs.

The worker, identified as Daniel Ali, 35, was a process operator at the time of the April 4, 2008, incident. HSE said Ali was picking plastic from a moving recycling line where screens from old computer monitors and TVs were crushed before operators removed materials from the conveyor. Ali had bent down to clear some wire from the ground when his glove became caught in an unguarded conveyor running beneath the one on which he was working. He was trapped for 45 minutes until emergency services freed him, but doctors had to amputate his arm between the elbow and shoulder."

This incident was completely avoidable and has left a man in the prime of his life without his right arm," HSE Inspector Vicky Fletcher said. "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."

In court, the company admitted violating Section 6(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, which states: "It shall be the duty of any person who designs, manufactures, imports or supplies any article for use at work . . . to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the article is so designed and constructed that it will be safe and without risks to health at all times when it is being set, used, cleaned or maintained by a person at work."

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