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Waste company prosecuted after worker loses arm

27-05-2012

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.

Agency employee Vladislavs Golovacs, 45, from Gravesend, was attempting to clear a blockage at Pinden Quarry, in Longfield, near Dartford, when the incident occurred on 20 December 2010.

Dartford Magistrates heard, on 17 May 2012, 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.

The Latvian national, contracted to work for Pinden Limited, which owns the quarry, 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.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 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.

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

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