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Ayrshire Recycling Firm Fined over Worker’s Injury

An Ayrshire waste recycling firm has appeared in Kilmarnock Sheriff Court where it was fined for serious safety failings after an agency worker severed his left arm at the shoulder while clearing a conveyor belt blockage.

Steven Dawson, who was 28 at the time of the incident, was separating plastic and paper by hand on the conveyor belt when he was alerted to a problem with the conveyor belt and noticed a metal container had caught on the edge of a pulley.

He opened an unsecured hinged guard to access the blockage, but when he attempted to remove the container his left hand and arm came into contact with the moving belt and the bottom of the pulley – resulting in his arm being severed at the shoulder.

Mr Dawson was taken to hospital but doctors were unable to reattach his arm. Over the following weeks he underwent two operations and has been told he needs further surgery to repair the nerves in his shoulder. He still suffers from considerable pain and has been unable to return to work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that more could and should have been done to prevent access to dangerous moving machinery parts.

The company was fined £118,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 2(2)(a) and (c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

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