Bakers Waste Services in Leicester, UK, has been fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £3,577 costs after an employee suffered severe crush injuries in an unsafe machine.
The 22-year-man was clearing a blockage from a cardboard baler when his left leg became trapped between the static framework and moving bed, last January.
It took firefighters three hours to free him. He was in hospital for four weeks and had three operations to insert metal rods and screws between his knee and ankle. He also required skin and muscle grafts, and in some places the bones in his leg were so severely damaged they are now missing.
Bakers Waste Services admitted breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on March 26.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the company had failed to maintain guards and other protective devices on the baler. Although guards were present they did not close properly meaning interlocking devices and the electrical control circuit of the machine were not properly activated.
“Bakers Waste Services fell below the standards expected of a competent employer, standards which are well publicised and accepted within the industry,” said Berian Price HSE inspector.
“The safety devices on the baler had been defective for a period of time yet it took an horrific incident before they took action to remedy the problem.”