A West Yorkshire recycling company has been fined by Bradford Crown Court after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
The court fined the firm £80,000 and ordered them to pay legal costs of £40,000.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into how a 50-year-old father of six children died while working for a Batley based company, revealed serious safety failings.
The HSE told the court that the employee was found caught in a bailing machine.
As there were no witnesses to the incident, it is believed that the worker was attempting to clear a blockage and fell into the equipment. The machine automatically restarted and partially severed the worker’s legs.
A doctor at the scene amputated the worker’s legs and he died two days later in hospital.
The HSE told the court that blockages occurred on a regular basis and employees cleared these blockages in a number of dangerous ways.
The court heard that the safety systems were significantly below standard and risk assessments were not in place.
After the case was heard, HSE Inspector Andrea Jones said:
“Adequate guarding of dangerous moving parts and the provision of safe systems of work including isolating and locking-off machinery are the basic principles for protecting employees.”
“Various unsafe methods of clearing blockages were used by several employees over a long period of time. There was no supervision or monitoring by management. This was an entirely foreseeable accident which resulted in fatal consequences.”