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Mercian Recycling fined after employee paralysed

HSE prosecution

Worker severely injured after becoming trapped in machinery during routine maintenance work

WASTE and recycling company Mercian Recycling Ltd have been fined £80,000 after a young worker was paralysed after becoming trapped in machinery.

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard how the 24-year-old employee, who was undertaking routine maintenance work inside a conveyor, fell approximately 4m to the floor when the machine was switched back on with him still inside it.

An investigation by the HSE into the incident, which occurred on 22 December 2016, found that the company had insufficient controls in place for the management of these risks at its premises.

Birmingham-based Mercian Recycling, who pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, were fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,498.34.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Cooper said: ‘This is a case where the company failed to have in place any controls whatsoever for ensuring routine maintenance operations were carried out without risks to safety.

‘It reinforces to companies in the waste industry the need to identify risks to their employees and others, and to put the necessary control measures in place.’

He added: ‘The waste industry is a known high-risk industry and for this reason HSE is currently targeting the sector with an inspection initiative to ensure effective management and control of risk.’

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