Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Leicestershire waste recycling firm fined £15,577 after a worker suffered severe crush injuries

Bakers Waste Services, a Leicestershire waste recycling firm was fined £15,577 (inc. costs) after a  worker suffered severe crush injuries in an unsafe machine.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred at the Enderby site on 27 January 2014.
  • The company failed to maintain guards and other protective devices on a baler. 
  • Although guards were present they did not close properly meaning interlocking devices and the electrical control circuit of the machine were not properly activated.
  • There was no safe system of work for safely isolating the power supply.
  • The worker was clearing a blockage from the cardboard baler 
  • He inadvertently activated the baler and his left leg became trapped between the static framework and moving bed.
  • It took firefighters three hours to free him. 
  • He was in hospital for four weeks and underwent three operations to insert metal rods and screws between his knee and ankle. He also required skin and muscle grafts, and in some places the bones in his leg were so severely damaged they are now missing.

The HSE inspector said:
“The incident was entirely preventable. Bakers Waste Services fell below the standards expected of a competent employer, standards which are well publicised and accepted within the industry. The safety devices on the baler had been defective for a period of time yet it took an horrific incident before they took action to remedy the problem. Incidents arising from dangerous parts of machinery are unfortunately commonplace despite freely available guidance. Around 12 people a year are killed and a further 40,000 injured due to incidents involving machinery.”

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