Monthly Archives: July 2012

Car Recycling Company Plead Guilty to Unsafe Work Practices

Donald Ward Limited, a recycling firm which trades as Wards Recycling, has been fined after Thomasz Hac, a worker at the company, sustained severe injuries when he came to be trapped in a car-crushing machine onJune 17, 2009. It is a car recycling company, so Mr Hac and his coworker were trying to unblock the fragmentiser which is a machine that crushes and shreds scrapped cars in order to be recycled.

The frameteiser stopped abruptly due to the blockage. Both workers went inside the machine and noticed that the blockage was due to a car that had become stuck in the upper part of the machine. Mr Hac was trapped by this car when it slid down and trapped him as he was attempting to clear the blockage.

Health and Safety Executive prosecution, Rubina Zaidi, stated that inadequate training had been provided to employees regarding the best method of getting rid of a blockage. She went on to say –

“The blockages happened around once a month and there was only one member of the team who was fully trained in the mechanics of the fragmentiser. He was on holiday and a deputy was not left in charge. This accident could have been prevented. Mr Hac should have been told that they were not to enter the machine.”

Mr Hac sustained serious crush injuries to his kidneys, spleen and liver. Furthermore, his shoulder blade and four ribs were broken. He subsequently spent four days in intensive care and five days on a hospital ward after the accident occurred. He returned to work afterwards, but has since left the company.

The HSE discovered that there was no safe system in place to clear blockages. The company was found guilty by Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court and was then ordered to pay a fine £20,000 and also costs of £19,970.

Wards Recycling has implemented changes to its working practices as a result of the accident. Unblocking the machine is now a three-person job, which makes it safer for all employees involved. Company spokesperson, David Travers QC, insisted that the company was aware of the severity of the incident. He stated –

“The guidelines were found to be inadequate and this has since been rectified, with a number of new measures being put in place.”

HSE inspector, Sarah Jardine, had this to say –

“The company should have foreseen the risks and devised a safe way of removing blockages that didn’t involve workers being put in the way of something that was likely to move. As a result of the company’s failings, a man has suffered terrible injuries.”

Farm Owner Ordered to Pay Fines after Worker Falls 15 Feet

Farm owner, David Adamson, has been ordered to pay fines by Beverley Magistrates’ Court for violating health and safety laws after a worker, Daniel Boldan Hoggard, sustained serious injuries when he fell 15ft onto a concrete floor on July 19 last year. The now 21 year old from Shaftesbury Avenue in Goole was on the roof attempting to fix a leak between two connected farm buildings at Low Hunsley Farm, located in Little Weighton when he fell through one of six roof lights and landed on the concrete floor.

Mr Hoggard suffered a punctured lung and kidney, cracked four vertebrae and had sustained much bruising following the accident. Afterwards Mr Hoggard was in hospital for a week and could not go to work for six. He is to this day receiving physiotherapy to ease the long-term effects of the injuries he suffered.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Mr Adamson. They said that Mr Adamson did not consider the safety of his employees his failure to put up any safeguards or protective controls in place during the roof work, which put them in significant danger as a result. The HSE inspector investigated the accident, Paul Eastell, stated –

“Daniel Boldan Hoggard is, frankly, lucky to be alive. Falls from height kill more workers than anything else and are some of the most common causes of death in agriculture, yet Mr Adamson did not put any safety measures in place to protect Daniel as he worked over four metres from the ground.”

Adamson was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £3,893.90 costs after pleading guilty to breaching the work regulations for working at a height.

Mr Eastell stated –

“Working at height, and even more so near fragile surfaces, is very high risk and yet HSE inspectors continue to find dangerous practice and a disregard for common sense and inexpensive safety controls.

“In this case there should at least have been suitable platforms, guard rails and boarding over the roof lights. I’m pleased that Daniel has made a reasonable recovery from his injuries and I hope this case emphasises to the wider farming community the need to think carefully through the dangers involved in all work activities and then act to reduce those risks to their workers and themselves.”

Birmingham Recycling Plant Prosecuted for Worker’s Broken Arm

Hawkeswood Metal Recycling , a scrap metal recycling firm, is likely to be ordered to pay ample fines by Birmingham Crown Court following an incident where a worker’s arm was caught in a piece of machinery at their factory in Birmingham. The worker in question, Ansumana Jammeh suffered, a broken arm when his right arm was trapped between a conveyor belt and a piece of equipment at the plant which is located in Aston Church Road, Nechells.

The unfortunate accident happened when Mr Jammeh was in the midst of sorting scrap metal when a piece of metal fell in between the roller and the belt, which subsequently caused the belt to bob up and down. He first attempted to remove this metal with the end of a mop and when that was not successful, he reached in to remove it with his hand.

However, his hand was subsequently trapped in the mechanism and he was unable to reach the machine’s emergency stop button. His co-workers did not immediately notice what had happened so it was several minutes before help was sought for Mr Jammeh. A protective guard should have been covering the machinery according to the law, however there was not one.

Mr Jammeh had been employed by the firm for six months was awarded an undisclosed amount of compensation from Hawkeswood Metal Recycling. Wayne Hawkeswood pleaded admitted guilt on account of the company to one charge of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Regan Peggs, the defending solicitor, said that since the unfortunate occurrence, the company had obtained newer and safer equipment to replace the old unsafe machinery and the company had gone “above and beyond” what the Health and Safety Executive had recommended.  Birmingham Magistrates Court adjourned the case for sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court on July 26.