Two directors at a Lincolnshire recycling company have been handed suspended prison sentences after an agency worker was killed on the site, with the firm receiving a fine totalling almost £1 million.
Agency worker Karlis Pavasors died while cleaning near a conveyor at the Mid-UK Recycling Limited base in Barkston Heath near Ancaster on July 19, 2013.
Nottingham Crown Court heard that the recycling line was started up and he was drawn onto the conveyor, along the line through a trammel and into an industrial waste shredder.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the fixed gate that fenced the area off and prevented access to the conveyor had been removed for a number of weeks prior to the incident, which meant that workers could freely gain access to the area.
Management were aware that the gate was not in place just days before the incident.
Mid UK Recycling, of Summit House, Quarrington, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) and Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The firm was fined £880,000 and ordered to pay costs of £100,000.
Managing director Christopher Mountain and former operations director Alan Munson both pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Both were given a 20 week prison sentence suspended for two years.
Mountain was also fined £50,000.
HSE inspector Dr Richenda Dixon said: “This horrific fatality could so easily have been avoided by simply installing and maintaining physical guards around conveyors and ensuring that safe working practices were in place.
“Employers should make sure they properly assess, apply and maintain effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”