Work accident leads to arm injury
A company has been fined thousands of pounds after an employee from Lithuania suffered injuries after an accident at work at a composting site in Bury St Edmunds.
County Mulch Ltd pleaded guilty at Ipswich Crown Court to health and safety breaches and was fined £40,000 with £9,000 costs.
The court heard Igor Popov was cleaning under a conveyor that transports compost out of the ovens at the site on April 21, 2006.
But as he scooped out compost using a fork he trapped his hand between the conveyor belt and a bar, and his arm was dragged into the machine.
He suffered significant injuries and one of his fingers had to be amputated.
Health and Safety Executive inspector Edward Crick said: "This was a wholly preventable incident which has resulted in significant, serious injuries to a vulnerable, non English-speaking employee.
"The injuries have had a profound physical and mental effect on both Igor Popov and his family.
"Mr Popov's injuries could and should have been avoided by straightforward safety precautions and the HSE will continue to take action against those who fall short of the law in such a way."
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David Urpeth, Partner at law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This terrifying accident demonstrates the severity of injuries that can be sustained in accidents at work where employers fail to protect employee's health and safety.
"Sadly, I represent many individuals who have been injured or killed in industrial accidents which should have been avoided. I am very concerned at the increasing trend in works accidents involving foreign workers."
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