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Recresco fined £50,000 over worker's severed arm

National glass recycling firm Recresco has been fined £50,000 after an agency worker lost an arm while carrying out maintenance on sorting equipment.

The case at Liverpool Crown Court was brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over an incident at Recresco’s Manisty Wharf site in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, in January 2014.

In December 2014, the company was fined £180,000 after a worker at the same site was killed on his first day at work in 2010 when the forklift truck he was driving overturned.

In the January incident, a safety glove worn by agency worker Philip Grace, 43, became trapped on a moving conveyor belt of the glass sorting machine on which he was carrying out maintenance.

His arm was pulled into the machine and severed from above the wrist. Attempts to reattach his hand were unsuccessful.

The HSE told the court it found multiple failings by the company, which put its own and agency workers at risk. The company had failed to assess the risks associated with working on moving conveyor belts as well as ensuring the machinery across the site was properly guarded, it said.

The company did not have a safe system of work in place, it added, and there was insufficient information, instruction or training relating to the conveyors, which routinely exposed workers to dangerous situations.

As well as the £50,000 fine, Recresco was ordered to pay costs of £21,625.70 and a £120 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Following the case, HSE inspector Jane Carroll said: “The need for safe systems of work, correct guarding, staff being trained and risk assessments being carried out are the basics of health and safety for a company like Recresco.”

In a statement, the company said: “Rescresco extends its sympathies and apologies to Mr Grace and his family. The areas which were identified as of concern were rectified very rapidly.”

 

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