An employee lost his finger in an accident involving a recycling machine.
The injury happened to Rhys Dee as he was working at GLJ Recycling Ltd’s recycling centre in Wales. He was working on a bailing machine that crushed copper domestic boilers.
Mr Dee was helping a colleague on this machine by standing in front of it and picking up pieces of copper. These copper pieces he fed into the bailer whilst his colleague operated it. However, whilst they were working in this way, Mr Dee’s finger was accidentally crushed by the machinery, causing him to lose the digit.
The HSE found that the way the machine was being operated was against industry guidance. This guidance states that the machine should be operated by one person only, who is behind the safety guard and not in front of the machine. Having two people operate the machine allegedly sped up the work, and a HSE inspector stated that the company encouraged such use.
GLJ Recycling Ltd recently pleaded guilty at court to breaking the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 in relation to this accident. This plea resulted in them receiving a fine of £6,000.