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Recycler fined over worker injured clearing machinery

A recycling firm has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £1,221 in costs after an employee nearly lost a leg when it became trapped in a glass sorting machine.

Roydon Polythene (Exports) Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which claimed that workers at the plant at Junction Eco Park in Swinton were routinely put at risk when they tried to remove blockages.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court was told the unnamed 41-year-old employee had been trying to clear a glass sorting machine on 16 October 2013. 

The man was elevated on a mobile work platform before climbing out of the basket and onto a conveyor belt. As he tried to clear the blockage, his right leg was drawn into the machinery.  He sustained significant crush injuries, requiring multiple operations. 

The HSE said it was routine for workers to climb onto the conveyor belt to clear blockages from an unguarded part of the machine. There were no guard rails around the edge of the conveyor to prevent employees falling. 

Roydon Polythene, of Rake Lane in Swinton, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £1,221 in prosecution costs after admitting single breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Work at Height Regulations 2005. 

The charges relate to failing to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery, and failing to put measures in place to prevent workers falling from height. 

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