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Staffordshire firm fined after worker loses arm

Marek Wasilewski, 35, of Swadlincote, was trying to clean the rollers of the machine at Blakenhall Park, Barr Lane, Barton under Needwood, when the incident occurred.

The machinery had to be dismantled to enable his left arm to be released, but the crush injuries were so severe it later had to be amputated at the shoulder. Mr Wasilewski also suffered multiple bruises and scratches on his head, neck, right arm and back and had to have five stitches to the middle finger of his right hand.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation into the incident and prosecuted his employer W B Daw & Son for safety failings.

Stafford Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Wasilewski ‘s duties included operating, cleaning and clearing blockages on the machine, into which potatoes harvested from the field were fed to be cleaned and sorted.

He sat down underneath the rollers of the machine to clean them while they were moving using a long screwdriver, but the rollers drew his left arm into the machinery right up to his shoulder.

The investigation found that there were unsafe systems of work being used, which involved cleaning and clearing blockages from the rollers while they were still rotating under power.

W B Daw & Son, of Woodhouse Farm, Pipe Lane, Blithbury, Rugeley, Staffordshire, was fined a total of £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £25,000 after being found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Added: 01-02-2016
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