Waste firm fined £10k after worker’s hand crushed

Fined: Recycling Lives, Essex Street
Fined: Recycling Lives, Essex Street
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A WORKER suffered a horrific injury when his hand was pulled into a running conveyor belt at a Preston waste centre.

Recycling Lives Limited, of Essex Street, Deepdale, Preston, was fined £10,000, with costs of £1,184 after pleading guilty to offences under work equipment regulations.

Preston Magistrates’ Court heard how employee Richard Painter, 35, was working in a waste sorting area, picking waste from a waste transport conveyor.

During a machine stoppage he cleaned some waste from the conveyor when it restarted and his hand was drawn into a running nip between the conveyor. He suffered a broken right forearm and three crushed fingers.

A probe by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the accident on February 6, found there was no evidence of preventative measures taken by the company to ensure that the machine was adequately guarded.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Steven Boyd said: “This was a readily preventable incident. The dangers of nip points, or the gaps between a moving belt and a stationary part of a machine, are well known.

“The injuries still cause Mr Painter problems 10 months after the incident.”