UK Court Fines Recycling Firm After Amputation

A worker was seriously injured when his arm became trapped in a conveyor belt he was maintaining.

A national English recycling firm has been fined approximately $80,000 after a maintenance worker suffered an amputation when his glove was caught in a conveyor belt, according to the Health and Safety Executive.

Philip Grace, 43, of Liverpool, lost part of his right arm after the incident at Recresco Ltd's site in Ellesmere Port. The court heard testimony June 18 about the Health and Safety Executive's investigation of the January 2014 injury; attempts to reattach Grace's hand were unsuccessful, according to HSE.

HSE found that the company did not have a safe system of work in place and there was insufficient training relating to the conveyors, which routinely exposed workers to dangerous situations.

Recresco Ltd was fined about $80,000 along with costs of approximately $34,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

"Philip Grace's life has been deeply affected by this entirely preventable incident. The need for safe systems of work, correct guarding, staff being trained and risk assessments being carried out are the basics of health and safety for a company like Recresco Ltd. Companies must recognize the need for proper safe systems of work, guarding, and training to protect workers who are operating or maintaining heavy machinery like the conveyor belts used in the recycling industry," said HSE Inspector Jane Carroll.

For more information about work equipment and machinery safety, visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/index.htm.

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