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Recycling company fined after worker crushed by machinery

21 December 2017

A waste and recycling company has been fined after a young worker was paralysed after becoming trapped in machinery.

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard how the 24-year old Mercian Recycling Limited employee, who was undertaking routine maintenance work inside a conveyor, fell approximately four metres to the floor when the machine was switched back on with him inside.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 22 December 2016, found that the company had insufficient controls in place for the management of these risks at their premises.

Mercian Recycling Limited of Ebury Road, Kings Norton, Birmingham pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,498.34.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Cooper said: “This is a case where the company failed to have in place any controls whatsoever for ensuring routine maintenance operations were carried out without risks to safety. It reinforces to companies in the waste industry the need to identify risks to their employees and others and to put the necessary control measures in place.

“The waste industry is a known high-risk industry and for this reason HSE is currently targeting the sector with an inspection initiative to ensure effective management and control of risk”.