Paper firm fined after worker suffers ‘crush injuries’

A Kent-based paper recycling firm, which entered voluntary liquidation in May 2021, was ordered to pay more than £80,000 last week after a 2018 incident which saw an employee suffer “serious crush injuries”.

The case took place at Westminster Magistrates Court on 20 September 2021 (Picture: Shutterstock)

According to a statement from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Westminster Magistrates Court heard how, on 19 January 2018, the worker from Accoil Paper Recycling (company number 08754963) was injured whilst trying to remove contaminants from a paper load prior to it entering a baler.

The HSE added that he sustained multiple fractures, which left him with reduced mobility and impacted on his ability to work.

The health and safety regulator said that its investigation found the company failed to adequately manage the risk of workers being injured while operating machinery.

“It was common practice for workers and supervisors to jump on and off the moving conveyor belt feeding a paper baling machine to remove contaminants,” the HSE added.

Fine

The HSE said in its statement: “Accoil Paper Recycling Limited of Maypole Crescent in Darent Industrial Park, Erith was found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. They were fined £75,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,706.”

The case took place on 20 September 2021, four months after the company entered voluntary liquidation.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Chris McDowell said as part of the statement: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction, and training to their workers on the safe system of working. Suitable supervision arrangements should also be in place to ensure that workers are following the safe system of work.

“If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, and supervisors were ensuring that this system was being followed, the injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

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