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Director sentenced after employee loses arm in machinery

The director of a tyre recycling firm has been given a suspended prison sentence after a worker’s arm was mangled in a shredding machine.

Mark Arabaje, who headed the now-dissolved Cartwright Projects Ltd, in Ashford, Kent, had removed a protective guard from a tyre shredder a week before the incident.

Arabaje pleaded guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act and received a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, was told to observe a home curfew between 8am and 6pm and wear an electronic tag.

The judge also imposed a £5,000 compensation order payable to the injured worker, Nathan Johnson, a 25-year-old father of four, who had been putting a tyre in the shredder in November 2013 when the machine’s metal teeth failed to grip properly.

Nathan Johnson

Johnson, left, tried to feed the rest of the tyre in manually, but his jacket sleeve became entangled on the teeth and his right forearm was dragged into the machine, which was still running.

After screaming for help, he was freed from the machine by Arabaje.

The prosecution was brought by the Health and Safety Executive which told Canterbury Crown Court that the employee’s injuries could have been even worse if he had been working on his own that day – which regularly happened in the company – because there were no emergency stop switches within his reach at the time.

Arabaje was the sole director of Cartwright Projects, which was dissolved on 24 June 2014.

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