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Yorkshire company fined over site injuries

A South Yorkshire waste management company has been fined £5,000 after admitting two counts of breaching health and safety laws.

Two men were injured in separate incidents on the premises of the firm, RG Wastecare, based in Carlton, Barnsley.

One man fell three metres into a skip after hanging onto a conveyer belt that started to move in February last year. Barnsley Magistrates’ Court heard that the man, Ian Ardron, 40, climbed onto the belt to free some carpet tangled in the rollers, when a colleague turned the machine on.

Ardron had fractures to his foot, wounds and nerve damage, and was unable to return to work for six months.

The other incident was six days later when a man’s arm was crushed in the rollers of a machine. John Clifford, 44, was off work for six weeks.

RG Wastecare was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Mark Welsh said: “Both men have suffered needless injuries owing to RG Wastecare’s disregard for vital safeguards for its workforce in what is a notoriously high-risk environment.”

Welsh added: “In both incidents, we found there were no functioning emergency stops on the machines and several guards or covers had been removed allowing access to numerous dangerous parts.

“One of the most hazardous aspects was the company’s failure to ensure that these large and powerful machines could be safety isolated from the power source while any maintenance or preparation work was being carried out on or around them.”

HSE statistics for 2009/10 show there were three deaths and 2,500 injuries recorded in the waste management industries.

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