Discount retailer Poundworld has been hit with a £60,000 fine after an employee's arm was caught in a cardboard compactor at its Middlesbrough store.
The female member of staff suffered serious crush injuries when her arm became entangled in the hydraulically operated press at the company’s former store in Captain Cook Square in December, 2013.
An investigation was carried out by Environmental Health Officers from Middlesbrough Council’s Public Protection Service, which established that the machine had been supplied and installed by Easi Recycling Solutions Ltd, York.
Charges were subsequently brought against both companies under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Poundworld Retail Ltd was charged with failing to ensure the safety of its employees by failing to provide plant and systems of work that were safe and without risk to health.
Easi Recycling Solutions Ltd was charged with failing to conduct its undertaking to ensure that persons not in its employ who may be affected thereby were not exposed to risks to their health or safety.
Both companies had entered guilty pleas at an earlier hearing before Teesside Magistrates’ Court on February 3. Magistrates referred sentencing to Teesside Crown Court and the case was heard on September 1.
Appearing before Judge Tony Briggs, Poundworld Retail Ltd was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay £4,800 towards the council’s costs.
Easi Recycling was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay a further £4,000 in costs.
Judith Hedgley, Middlesbrough Council’s Environmental Health and Trading Standards Manager, said the accident was the result of "inadequate health and safety management" and a "lack of adequate training for employees in the safe use of dangerous equipment."
If better safety procedures, supervision and training had been implemented for the users of the machine, this accident would have been avoided.