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26th October 2016

£300,000 fine for firm not following correct PUWER procedures

A recycling company based in Kent has incurred a significant fine following an injury to a worker who was repairing a shredder.

On 7th October 2013, a plant mechanic employed by recycling firm, Countryside Recycling Limited, commenced remedial works on the machine after the metal roof plate of the hammer drum has become detached.

The worker was inside the machine, kneeling on a conveyor belt as the machine re-started, throwing him from the machine resulting in fractures to his right leg and left arm.

The subsequent Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation identified that the company did not have adequate or suitable systems in place to protect the health and safety of their employees. They had failed to enforce a ‘safe stop’ process which should be in place when using dangerous machinery, and had allowed such poor practise to become commonplace rather than challenging staff members on their actions.

The firm was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay £8,903 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

It is considered the fine was so significant because of the potential consequences of such an oversight.


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