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Worker loses lower arm

Accident at work – a man has suffered catastrophic injuries at work following an incident with a tyre-shredding machine. Whilst feeding tyres into the unguarded shredding machinery, the worker’s sleeve was gripped by the machine’s teeth. The man was unable to prevent the loss of his lower arm.

Extensive medical treatment

In an investigation led by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Canterbury Crown Court heard that on the day of the incident, Nathan Johnson, 25, of Folkstone, was feeding tyres into unguarded shredding machinery at the Cartwright Projects Ltd plant in Ashford, Kent.

As Mr Johnson’s arm began to feed into the machine’s teeth, he shouted for help. Mark Anton Arabaje – director of the now dissolved Cartwright Projects Ltd company – responded and switched off the machine. The court was told that there were no emergency stop switches within Mr Johnson’s reach.

Mr Johnson’s lower arm could not be saved. He required skin grafts from his leg, and underwent surgery to place a bolt into the damaged elbow bone.

Unguarded machinery

HSE discovered that Mr Arabaje had removed the guard “bucket” from the machinery earlier that month, exposing workers to moving machine parts. Mr Arabaje was prosecuted for earlier offences. He received fines, a suspended prison sentence, and a curfew. Mr Arabaje was ordered to pay £5000 to Mr Johnson in compensation.

HSE Inspector Guy Widdowson commented:

“Nathan Johnson would never have suffered these horrific, life-changing injuries if Mr Arabaje, the company director, had not removed the guard from the tyre-shredder.

“Company directors need to take their health and safety responsibilities seriously to prevent such tragic events occurring in the future. They have a significant role to play in protecting workers from injury at work; and this case demonstrates that such incidents can and do lead to directors being prosecuted if there is evidence of their consent, connivance or neglect to breaches in the law.”

Accident at work compensation

If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault at work, you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. We offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Call one of our friendly advisors on 0800 888 6 888 or email

Source: Health and Safety Executive

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