Glass Firm Fined for Work Accident Injury

Glass recycling firm hit with fine 25789

A glass recycling company in Sheffield has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an accident at work.

An unnamed 18-year-old local was involved in the accident, which took place at the company's site on June 15th 2012.

Magistrates at a Court in Wakefield were told that a temporary worker, who was employed at a local staffing agency, was asked by a supervisor to clean a machine that separates glass from waste material.

The unit had been running when his left hand and arm was drawn in between a rotating metal drum and a moving conveyor belt.

After being rushed to hospital doctors diagnosed him with a serious upper arm fracture, which resulted in a risky surgical procedure where consultants used bone from his hip, as well as metal rods, to rebuild his arm.

A work accident investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered the machine was not guarded and this left employees at risk of serious injuries, as was born out in the 18-year-old's case.

For its part in the failings that led to the agency worker's arm fracture, Reuse Collections, which trades as Berryman, was fined £5,000 and told to pay £3,683 in costs after it admitted a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the hearing finished, HSE inspector Bradley Wigglesworth said, "The requirement for guarding is well known and recognised across industry not least because the risks are obvious.

"Had the machine had adequate guarding and a safe system of work implemented to isolate the machine, the serious and painful injury to this young and inexperienced worker could have been avoided."

The issue of poor safety for agency workers has been something highlighted regularly by activists in recent years. While many permanent members of staff are afforded the protection of a more stable set of safety standards, these are often neglected for poorer paid temporary employees.

By Chris Stevenson