Countrystyle Recycling is considering an appeal over a £300,000 fine handed to the firm after one of its workers was injured repairing a shredder.
The Kent-based waste business was handed the sentence at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court on Friday (20 October), having pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 following the incident at its Ridham site in October 2013.
The court heard how a plant mechanic employed by Countrystyle was in the process of repairing a shredding machine after a metal plate had become detached.
According to Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the mechanic had been kneeling on a conveyor belt inside the shredder when the incident occurred. He suffered a fractured right leg and left arm, the Court was told.
An investigation by the HSE alleged that the company did not have ‘adequate or suitable’ systems in place to protect the health and safety of its employees.
In addition to the fine the company was also ordered to pay £8,903 in costs.
But, having submitted a guilty plea, Countrystyle has voiced its ‘surprise’ at the extent of the fine subsequently issued by the Court.
A spokeswoman for the company said: “Following the submission of a guilty plea in this case, the Company is surprised by the extent of the fine imposed which seems disproportionate to the circumstances of the offence and the actual harm suffered. Accordingly, the Company is considering the possibility of an appeal with its legal advisers.”
Countrystyle offers a range of recycling services across Kent, specialising in treatment of organic and wood waste. The business also provides skip hire as well as commercial and municipal waste collections.
The company describes Ridham as its ‘main site’ housing its waste transfer operations as well as refuse-derived fuel (RDF) production and wood recycling plants.
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Source: letsrecycle.com Waste Managment