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Lincolnshire metal firm fined £70,000 after worker injured

A Lincolnshire scrap metal dealer has been fined £70,000 for safety breaches after a worker fell from a conveyor belt.

Bourne-based BW Riddle pleaded guilty at Lincoln Crown Court to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. The company was also ordered to pay £18,000 in costs.

The incident took place on 7 February 2013 when the conveyor belt, on which a 49-year-old worker was carrying out maintenance, reactivated. The man fell on to scrap metal below and then to the concrete floor, breaking ribs on both sides of his body.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the conveyor belt had not been isolated and therefore reactivated when the main power was switched on.

The court also heard that in 2010 the HSE had already issued an improvement notice for procedures to be put in place to isolate the conveyor belt, which was complied with.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Neil Ward said: “It is clear that while BW Riddle had complied with previous enforcement action, the firm neglected safety again and again, and disregarded lessons that should have been learned from previous HSE interventions.”

A spokesman from BW Riddle said: “The company has taken this accident extremely seriously and accepts by way of its plea of guilty that there were failings in the way it managed health and safety at its Bourne site. 

“The company has always taken health and safety seriously but, as a result of the accident, has undertaken a comprehensive review of its health and safety systems. This is an ongoing process.”

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