Skip hire and waste recycling company fined after worker is injured

A family run and owned skip hire, waste and recycling business in Scotland has been fined £24,000 after a worker sustained serious injuries to his left hand and forearm on the blades of a machine.

Barry Edward Pae, formerly known as Barry Edward Vaughan, an employee of W M Russell & Sons Limited was injured while he attempted to change the blades of a rapid granulator machine. He sustained serious and irreversible injuries which included complete amputation of his left index, middle and ring fingers, and an open fracture to his left wrist following the incident on 9 April 2021.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company failed to provide a safe system of work for changing the cutter blades. This included a failure to provide sufficient information, instruction, and training on how to isolate the granulator when changing the cutter blades or carrying out other maintenance.

HSE guidance can be found at: Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) (hse.gov.uk)

At Dunfermline Sheriff Court on 30 May 2024, WM. Russell & Sons Limited of Lilliehill, Dunfermline pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Section 2(1), and 33(1)(a) between 2 April and 9 April 2021, both dates inclusive. and were fined £24,000.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector Laura Dempster said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to provide a safe system of work for their employees and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training on that system.

“If a safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

Source: HSE