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Suspended sentence for director after worker's injury

The director of a plastics recycling company has been given a suspended prison sentence over an incident in which a worker lost an arm.

Wrexham Magistrates’ Court heard how an employee of Clark Technologies Wales Ltd was injured while cleaning out the plastic washing plant at its recycling facility on Deva Industrial Park, Deeside. An arm had to be amputated.

Bob Shepherd admitted breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was given a 10-week prison sentence, suspended for a year. He was also ordered to pay costs of £4,000 and a victim surcharge of £115.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident on 6 December 2016 found that no safe system of work existed for operation of the machine and a competent person to provide health and safety advice had not been appointed.

After the case, HSE inspector Mhairi Duffy said “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.

“If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life-changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

According to the company’s website, Clarke Technologies was founded in 2013 by Shepherd, formerly a director for Sims Recycling Solutions. Prior to that he was the owner and managing director of Global Environmental Recycling, winner of a National Recycling Award in 2007, before selling the company in 2009.

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