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    BY-PASSING MACHINE INTERLOCK FINED £1.275 MILLION

    Trapped key safety system failed to prevent access to conveyor danger

    A waste recycling company has been fined after an employee lost part of his arm when he was trapped between a roller and conveyor belt on 26th April 2015.

    Lincoln Crown Court heard that the employee was working as a line operator in the material recovery facility. On the morning of the incident, blockages had occurred on the line and waste had become wrapped around the axle stopping a lower conveyor within the enclosure around the machine.

    It was whilst removing waste from this axle that the glove worn by the employee was dragged into the in-running nip between the belt and the powered roller of the conveyor.

    This resulted in his left arm being amputated above the elbow.

    Machinery safeguards must be maintained

    HSE investigators revealed that the company had failed to prevent access to dangerous parts of the conveyor.

    The trapped key system installed to prevent access with power energised had “essentially been bypassed” allowing the system to be operated in automatic mode with persons still inside the enclosure.

    • Mid UK Recycling Limited (now known as MUKR Limited) – of Summit House, Quarrington, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, NG34 8RS 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

    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.”

     

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