Lincolnshire-based metal recycler BW Riddle has been fined £70,000 and ordered to pay £18,000 in costs after one of its workers suffered broken ribs in an incident at the firm’s Bourne site in February 2013.
Lincolnshire Crown Court heard on December 22 that the 49-year-old worker was carrying out maintenance on the firm’s sloping conveyor belt in Bourne on February 7 2013 when the incident occurred.
The man was leaning over the top end of the conveyor belt while working on the bearings when the main power was switched on again and the whole of the line reactivated.
This, the court heard, caused the man to fall from the belt onto a heap of scrap metal below, and then onto the concrete floor, breaking ribs on both sides of his body.
HSE inspector Neil Ward said: “The incident could easily have resulted in a death and only luck saved this worker from more serious injury. Had the company put in place the correct, formal procedures for locking off and isolating the conveyor belts, this incident could have been prevented entirely.