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Safety measure failings led to crush injury

  • 17 July 2014
  • By Roger Brown

Waste and recycling haulier GBN Services has been fined £28,000 after a worker suffered crush injuries when his arm was caught in an unguarded moving conveyor belt at a site in Essex.

In a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution, Chelmsford Crown Court was told how the 30-year-old GBN employee, who does not wish to be named, was working at the firm’s Harlow premises at Maple River Industrial Estate when the incident happened in May 2013.

The worker was attempting to realign the in-feed conveyor belt on a newly installed waste separating machine.
Power to the machine had been turned off and a protective guard removed to enable access to the belt. However, after finishing the task, the worker reactivated the power to the machine and his left arm was drawn in between the two belts.

He suffered crush injuries but has now returned to work part time on light duties. An HSE investigation found GBN Services, which has five recycling sites in the South East, had failed to implement its own isolation and lock-off procedures at the Harlow site.

Following its investigation into the incident, HSE inspected the GBN site in Southend and had to issue three prohibition notices immediately halting dangerous activity, plus a notice requiring specified improvements.
The court was told the firm had previously been served with several enforcement notices, including one for a similar guarding failure at a London site.

GBN Services was also ordered to pay costs of £2,777 after pleading guilty to breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.


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