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Metal recycling firm fined £15,000 over worker’s injury

A metal recycling firm has been fined over inadequate safety measures on a conveyor after a worker broke his arm in three places and suffered a cracked shoulder blade because of unguarded machinery.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified a guard by the tail drum where Ryan Jackson, 25, was operating had been removed and there was no emergency stop button (see photo above). The HSE also found that guarding on the whole conveyor was insufficient.

Rotherham company CF Booth was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,595 after admitting breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 in the incident at the company premises on Armer Street in December 2013.

Jackson was relatively inexperienced and had attempted to remove a blockage from the conveyor while unsupervised, Rotherham Magistrates’ Court was told.

He believed the machine would need an electrician to restart it once it had cut out, but it started running again and his arm was drawn in.

HSE told the court that the tail drum of the conveyor had previously had a mesh guard but this had been removed before the incident.

The company had no management system to check that guards were in place or that emergency stops or pull cords were working. The firm had also received written advice from the HSE in May 2013 relating to the guarding of end drums on other conveyors on the site.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Carol Downes said: “Incidents of this kind occur all too frequently in the recycling sector and the onus is on companies, like CF Booth, to acknowledge dangers posed by unguarded machinery, tail end drums of conveyors in particular, and to take action.

“The company had been warned before and there can be no excuse for its subsequent failings.”

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