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Firm fined after employee seriously injures arm

A waste and recycling firm has been in court after one of its employees suffered crush injuries when his arm was caught in an unguarded moving conveyor belt.

What happened?

The 30 year-old employee was attempting to realign the in-feed conveyor belt on a newly-installed waste separating machine. To do so, the power had been turned off and a protective guard removed to enable access to the belt.

After finishing the job, he turned the power on and his left arm was drawn in between the two belts. He sustained painful injuries, but has since returned to work on a part time basis performing light duties.

An investigation into the incident found that GBN Services Ltd had failed to ensure that satisfactory isolation and lock-off procedures were in place at the Harlow site.

What was the outcome?

Following the investigation the firm’s site in Southend was issued with three Prohibition Notices to halt dangerous activity, plus a notice requiring specified improvements.

GBN Services Ltd pleaded guilty to breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and was fined £28,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,777

HSE Inspector, Corinne Godfrey, said:

“Incidents involving unguarded machinery are all too common and the onus is on
employers to ensure safe and robust systems of work are in place to protect
workers from dangerous moving parts of machinery. GBN Services failed
to heed previous advice from HSE relating to conveyor
guarding at its other sites.

“There are several deaths and 40,000 injuries each year due to incidents where workers
have been using machines, and most of these are easily prevented. Guards and
safety systems are required for a reason, and companies have a legal
duty of care to ensure they up to scratch and working
effectively at all times.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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