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Teenager injured working at recycling factory

A teenager suffered serious personal injury when his arm was caught in an unguarded machine at a glass recycling factory.

The 18-year-old, from Sheffield, had been working as a temp at Reuse Collections Ltd in Pontefract when the incident happened.

Wakefield Magistrates were told he had been asked by a supervisor to clean a machine used to separate glass from waste material.

The machine was running and his left hand and arm was drawn in between a rotating metal drum and a moving conveyor belt.

The teenager suffered a fractured upper arm. Surgeons needed to use bone from his hip and metal rods to rebuild it.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and found the machine had been totally unguarded, providing ready access by workers to dangerous moving parts.

In addition Reuse Collections Ltd had no work system to make sure the machine was isolated and safely locked off before cleaning was undertaken.

HSE told the court that rather than fitting an effective guard enclosing the dangerous parts of the machine, the company relied on employees to carry out cleaning carefully to avoid contact with the moving parts.

Reuse Collections Ltd, trading as Berryman, of Lidgate Crescent, LangthwaiteBusinessPark, South Kirkby, Pontefract, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £3,638 in costs.

HSE Inspector Bradley Wigglesworth said: “There is no excuse for companies to operate machinery without protecting employees and other workers from the dangerous parts. The requirement for guarding is well known and recognised across industry not least because the risks are obvious.

“Had the machine had adequate guarding and a safe system of work implemented to isolate the machine, the serious and painful injury to this young and inexperienced worker could have been avoided.”

If you have suffered personal injury at work, call PM Law solicitors in Sheffield on 0114 2965444

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