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Recycling firm fined for crushing equipment safety failings

A Yorkshire recycling company has been fined £8,000 for failing to protect workers properly against the dangers of cutting and crushing equipment.

The London Wiper Company – trading as Universal Recycling Company from a site in Mexborough near Rotherham – pleaded guilty to two charges of non-compliance with an Improvement Notice.

As well as the fine it was ordered to pay £5,000 costs.

The Health and Safety Executive uncovered a catalogue of safety breaches during an inspection of the site in Wharf Road, Kilnhust, Mexborough, in May 2010.

The investigation exposed several examples where there were no or inadequate safeguards in place to prevent access to dangerous or moving parts of machinery, including chopping machines, shredding and crushing machinery, conveyors, pulleys, chain drives and belts and rollers.

Inspectors took immediate enforcement action, issuing three Prohibition Notices to halt further work in some areas. Two Improvement Notices were later served giving the firm time to take effective remedial action, and despite an extension to these, no action had been taken by August 2010, Rotherham Magistrates Court heard.

Inspector Denise Fotheringham said after the hearing: “Universal Recycling Company has shown a blatant disregard for the law and for the safety of their workers.”

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