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£60,000 fine for Coolrec after worker loses arm

Waste and recycling firm Coolrec has been fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £22,000 after one of its workers had to have part of his arm amputated when he got caught in machinery.

Basildon Crown Court heard 35-year-old Daniel Ali was working as a process operator at Coolrec UK’s site on the Burnt Mills Industrial Estate, Basildon when the incident happened.

He was picking plastic off a sorting line which handled waste electrical and electronic equipment, such as computer monitors and televisions. He bent down to clear some wire from the ground when his glove got caught in an unguarded conveyor running beneath the one he was working on.

Ali was trapped for 45 minutes before the emergency services could free him. His arm could not be saved and doctors were forced to amputate it.

Coolrec UK’s Dutch parent company Coolrec Group was fined and ordered to pay costs totalling £82,000 after it admitted to not ensuring the equipment was safe.

Health and Safety Executive 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 could and should have ensured the conveyor belts on the recycling line were properly guarded in order to prevent incidents such 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.”

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