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Arm amputation followed ‘horrific incident’ at recycling plant

A 24-year-old’s arm had to be amputated following an accident at a recycling company’s site in Nantwich, Cheshire, when he was dragged into a piece of machinery.

The Nick Brookes Recycling employee was working on an infeed conveyor which transfers waste brought by skip wagons onto a picking line. On 8 August 2013 he was dragged into the conveyor and his right arm had to be amputated up to his shoulder. 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told Chester Crown Court that the conveyor belt was in extremely poor condition, jammed frequently, and was not guarded. Workers were not sufficiently informed, trained or supervised.  

Nick Brookes Recycling pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,000. 

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Adam McMahon said: “Had the company assessed the risk, implement the correct control measures and guarded the machine then the horrific incident could have been prevented.”


Keeley Downey is acting deputy editor of IOSH Magazine. She is a former editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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