Teenager’s arm crushed while cleaning machine

A Sheffield teenager with a temporary job at a major glass recycling firm had his arm crushed when it was drawn into the unguarded danger zone of a machine, a court has heard.

The 18-year-old worker, who was employed by a local staffing agency, had been working on and off for six months as a temp at Reuse Collections Ltd in Pontefract.

Wakefield magistrates were told he had been asked by a supervisor to clean a machine which was used to separate glass from waste material at the company’s site in June 2012.

The machine was running and his left hand and arm was drawn in between a rotating metal drum and a moving conveyor belt.

The teenager suffered a fractured upper arm, and surgeons needed to use bone from his hip and metal rods to rebuild it.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated and found the machine had been totally unguarded, allowing ready access by workers to dangerous moving parts.

In addition Reuse Collections Ltd had no system to make sure the machine was isolated and safely locked off before cleaning was undertaken.

The HSE told the court that the company relied on employees to carry out cleaning carefully to avoid contact with the moving parts.

Reuse Collections Ltd – which was trading as Berryman – was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £3,638 in full costs after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.