23 April 2013
Lincoln man could claim compensation for "life changing" injuries
A Lincoln man who received what the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) called "life changing" injuries could claim compensation against his employers.
The unnamed man, who was 23 when the accident happened, was working at a recycling centre in Scunthorpe when he was severely, permanently injured.
The man was picking pieces of copper off a picking station conveyor belt at the time of the incident. After a short period of time he noticed that the belt had become jammed and was not working properly. After an inspection of the inner workings of the machine the worker decided he would attempt to solve the issue.
The young worker picked up a stick and tried to unjam the machine, which he did successfully, but the power of the machine drew the stick, and the man's arm into the machine, where it was completely severed at the shoulder.
If it were not for rapid medical attention he would have quickly died from shock and blood loss.
In court, the HSE identified that his employers, City Scrap, had failed to properly assess hazards that workers would be exposed to, as well as failing to provide an emergency stop button, which may have helped the young worker retain the arm that surgeons failed to reattach.
The HSE also found four faults with the equipment after the incident. It is not thought that the fact that the man's arm was severed in the machine caused any of these faults.
City Scrap were fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £8,964 in costs after pleading guilty to a serious breach of health and safety legislation.
HSE inspector Andrew Gale said: "A young man suffered horrific, life-changing injuries in an incident that was easily preventable."
"City Scrap Ltd should have had fixed guarding, properly secured, to prevent access to dangerous moving parts. In addition safe procedures should have been in place for clearing blockages, including isolation of power to the machinery."
The worker involved in the accident has not returned to work.
Posted by Chris Stevenson
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