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Firm fined £100,000 after employee is injured

Luton recycling company F&R Cawley has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £20,763 costs after a worker suffered serious fractures when his arm was dragged into the rollers of a moving conveyor belt.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the company’s procedures for lock-off/isolation and clearing blockages were inadequate.

The computer system in the control room had not been working properly for some time, according to the HSE, walkie-talkie radios were faulty and blockage team members were inadequately supervised or trained.

The investigation also found that the injured worker was not suitably trained to work as a mechanic, Luton Crown Court heard.

The 32-year-old employee was working at the firm’s Covent Garden Close site in February 2014 when he sustained serious fractures clearing a blockage on a MRF machine.

The court was told a previous HSE inspection in 2012 found the company was not following safe practices.

F&R Cawley had provided a new documented procedure but the court was told it fell into disuse within weeks. The judge was satisfied that the HSE’s 2012 intervention constituted a “warning that was ignored” and that if they had followed their own procedure, the chance of this accident happening was remote.

The company admitted breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act, 1974.

HSE inspector Andrew McGill said: “This worker has been left unable to work following an incident that could easily have been avoided if the company had ensured their staff were properly trained and supervised.”

MRW has contacted F&R Cawley for a response.

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