Canterbury Crown Court has sentenced a Kent businessman after an employee seriously injured his arm in a shredding machine.
The worker required a series of operations including skin grafts and metal work. He lost his forearm up to his elbow.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident revealed serious safety failings.
A machine was being used by the employee to shred old tyres when his arm became caught and dragged into the machine. The court was told that the sole director of the now dissolved company, had removed the safety guard to allow easy access to the moving metal teeth, two weeks before the incident.
The HSE reported that the worker often worked alone and his injuries could have been much worse had he done so on this occasion.
Canterbury Crown Court sentenced the director to a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, to observe a home curfew between 8pm – 6am and wear an electronic tag. A £5,000 compensation order was also made by the judge.
After the case was heard, Guy Widdowson from the HSE said:
“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.”