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Waste company prosecuted after worker loses arm

A waste management and recycling company has been fined for safety failings after a worker lost most of his arm on an unguarded conveyor system at a Kent quarry.

Dartford Magistrates heard that a conveyor belt used to transfer waste into a sorting shed was juddering and virbrating, making sorting difficult, after a driving roller was blocked by stones.

Agency employee Vladislavs Golovacs should have stopped the machine before removing the debris. Instead he removed the stones with the power still running and his left arm became trapped and was torn with extreme force.

It was ripped from his body from between his shoulder and elbow - leaving just a quarter of the limb intact. Mr Golovacs was airlifted to hospital for an emergency operation, but surgeons were unable to reattach his arm. He has been unable to return to work since.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident and found there was no guarding in place to prevent access to dangerous moving parts on the conveyor. Mr Golovacs had also received no training on how to safely clear blockages.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for these failings, and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £11,506 in costs.

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