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Man Loses Arm at Work

A man has lost his right arm in an incident at work involving a conveyor belt.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that agency worker Domingos da Conceicao Freitas, 28, had been asked by his supervisor to clear a blockage that had occurred on the picking line at the Kent based recycling plant.

The established practice for clearing such blockages involved a three person system – one to clear the blockage, one to operate the machine controls 75ft away, and one to relay messages between the two.

Mr Freitas did not have assistance from colleagues on this occasion, and attempted to carry out the task while the machinery was switched on. His arm was caught in the rollers of the conveyor belt, which were not guarded despite guards being available.

The arm was later amputated as a direct result of his injuries.

MSK Waste Management and Recycling Ltd, registered to Station Road, Sidcup, Kent pleaded guilty to breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £10,000 and was ordered to pay £5,944 in prosecution costs, as well as £5,000 in compensation.

HSE Inspector Gabriella Dimitrov commented:

“Incidents of this kind occur all too often in the recycling sector, and the onus is on companies
like MSK to acknowledge the dangers posed by unsafe machines and risky methods
of work for clearing blockages, and to take action.”

If you think you, or someone you know, has been affected by an injury in the work place and you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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