A BARRHEAD firm has been fined £20,000 for health and safety breaches after a worker was left with a fractured skull in a freak accident.

Wojciech Szcysprior got trapped under a bale of paper that fell on him at a plant run by Recycled Packaging Ltd.

The firm’s head office is in Muriel Street, Barrhead, and a criminal case against the company called at Paisley Sheriff Court this week.

It admitted a charge brought under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The court heard that Mr Szcysprior, 42, had worked for the company for a number of years and was injured on December 13, 2016.

He had been cleaning bales of recycled paper, which were 160x120x80cm in dimension and stacked five high, meaning the stack reached a height of four metres.

Two of the bales fell, with one landing on top of him, trapping him underneath.

Colleagues heard Mr Szcysprior screaming for help and a forklift truck had to be used to remove the bale.

An ambulance was summoned and he was rushed to hospital, where it was discovered he had fractured his skull, left pelvis and right leg in three places.

The court heard the accident took place at the firm’s premises in Hillington but it was unclear what caused the 500kg bale to fall.

The prosecution arose as part of an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive.

The charge the firm admitted stated it failed to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees, so far as was reasonably practicable, by failing to make a “suitable and sufficient assessment of risk” to staff engaged in cleaning bales of recycled material “and in particular did fail to adequately identify risks involved with the safe handling of bales.”

The firm also admitted it failed “to have in place a system to ensure that bales were stacked in a stable and secure manner and bales were inspected to monitor for signs of stack instability.”

Sheriff Colin Pettigrew was told the firm is operated by Stanley Frazher and his sons Paul and Neill.

After hearing that Mr Szcysprior only left the firm when a civil case for compensation was brought against the firm, Sheriff Pettigrew imposed a fine of £20,000, reduced from £30,000 due to the guilty plea.

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