Site supervisor fined after worker suffered serious injuries

A site supervisor has been sentenced for safety breaches after a 46-year-old worker became entangled in a conveyor belt sustaining serious injuries to his hand and arm.

An operative was working on a conveyor belt on an automated waste picking line at Associated Waste Management (AWM) Ltd in Canal Road, Bradford, when it became damaged and needed repair, Leeds Crown Court was told. Whilst the operative was working to repair the conveyor line, on 20 October 2016, it started moving and his arm became entangled, which caused muscle and tissue damage.

The HSE’s investigation found that AWM site supervisor Andrew Hughes, who had control of the site in the absence of the site manager, was responsible for completing a permit for the repair work and isolating the line. However, on his way to complete the permit he became distracted with another matter and the permit to work and isolation were not completed. This meant that the conveyor belt restarted during the repair work injuring the employee.

Andrew Hughes of Heathmoor Park Road, Illingworth, Halifax, West Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was given a four-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay costs of £1,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Darian Dundas said: “Mr Hughes failed to implement company policy and procedure in respect of permits to work and isolation.

“This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.”