A waste firm has been hit with a £260,000 fine after a worker was crushed by a machine which was switched on while he inside it. 

Inspectors said 48-year-old Grzegorz Poreba is lucky to be alive after the incident which took place at a waste sorting centre on Riverside Road in Wimbledon

The maintenance worker entered the machine to carry out repairs but it had not been isolated from all sources of energy. 

When it was inadvertently switched on Grzegorz was thrown onto a conveyor which then trapped him against a metal bridge. 

He suffered multiple injuries which required 23 screws and two plates inside his body. 

He has not been able to work since the incident which took place on September 11, 2020. 

Grzegorz said: “The whole accident has turned my life upside down. I cannot walk or stand for longer than an hour and a half. 

“It has been very hard. If I could turn back time, I could only wish that the accident had never happened. 

“The doctors have been trying to regain my physical and mental health. The only success so far is that I am not in a wheelchair.” 

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Cappagh Public Works Limited had failed to provide a suitable means to isolate the machinery from all sources of power. 

The isolator switch was broken and the company had no formal maintenance arrangements, the HSE said. 

Cappagh Public Works Limited pleaded guilty to breaching the Heath and Safety at Work Act. 

On Friday (October 20) the company was fined £260,000 and ordered to pay £4,358 in costs by Westminster Magistrates Court. 

HSE inspector Pippa Knott said: “The fine imposed should underline to everyone in the waste industry that the courts, and HSE, take a failure to ensure that maintenance work is completed safely extremely seriously. 

“Grzegorz is lucky to be alive and the incident has left a lasting impression on him. 

“We will not hesitate to take action against companies which do not do all that they should to keep people safe.”