Company fined after employee loses his arm

The Mid Uk Recycling plant at Caythorpe. EMN-191030-165812001
The Mid Uk Recycling plant at Caythorpe. EMN-191030-165812001

A waste recycling company has been fined after an employee lost part of his arm in a conveyor belt.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, Lincoln Crown Court originally heard that on April 26, 2015, the employee of Mid UK Recycling was working as a line operator in the building known as Unit 4 MRF (Material Recovery Facility) at its main Caythorpe site.

On the morning of the incident, it is stated that blockages had occurred on this line and waste had become wrapped around the axle, stopping a lower conveyor. It was while removing waste from this axle that the employee’s glove got dragged in between the belt and the powered roller of the conveyor. This resulted in his left arm being amputated above the elbow.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed the company had failed to prevent access to dangerous parts of the conveyor. The castell key system had essentially been bypassed allowing it to be operated in automatic mode with persons still inside the enclosure.

Mid UK Recycling (now known as MUKR Limited) of Summit House, Quarrington, pleaded guilty to a breach of section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (1974) and was fined £1.275 million and ordered to pay costs of £45,065.59 at Lincoln Crown Court on October 16.

The family business was founded in 1997 and grew to employ over 420 staff, before being sold to the Beauparc group in June.

Speaking after the hearing, HM inspector Scott Wynne said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided, had the company ensured that the system designed to keep people away from dangerous machinery was properly maintained. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”