Here’s a fragment for you about every day horror. And perhaps also about the facelessness of some corporations.
The Industrial Shredding Company placed great pride in their fleet of Hammel 750D Industrial Shredders. Clocking in at a whopping £70,000, the company felt they were an essential part of their business yet did not feel it appropriate to ensure their employees safety around such dangerous equipment. Before the proper safety precautions were put in place, one man alone operated the machinery, first by pressing the big red begin button on the control panel on the front of the shredder then mounting the gangway that surrounded the machine before finally depositing whatever needed to be shredded in its metal mouth. Sometimes this was done by hand, most of the time it was emptied in from the back of a truck. During a lunch break one November afternoon a young man who had only started working at the plant two days earlier wanted to impress his colleagues with his tenacity and decided to work through lunch in order to increase his processing quota for the day. After emptying a truckload of electronic waste into the shredder he found that one piece of plastic was refusing to be consumed by the blades. Thinking that he could solve this issue, he used a large metal rod to try to push this last piece of waste between down through the blades. He was successful in pushing the plastic into the shredder’s large jagged teeth however the metal pole he used was consumed with it. Gobbling the pole out of his hand with so much force it knocked him off balance the serrated jaws of the Hammel dragged him between its teeth. The subsequent scream was heard throughout the entire plant. It was so sudden, so harsh and so violent that it startled most of the staff in the lunch room into a frozen silence. With the exception of the safety officer all the other staff members remained rooted to their seat. As the safety officer donned his hard hat to go and assess the situation the plant manager informed him that the 750D takes approximately fourteen minutes to complete a shredding cycle. The safety officer removed his hat and sat back down. Fourteen minutes later, and roughly seven minutes after the screaming had ceased, the safety officer went to check the machine for damage. All that remained was the young man’s foot severed just above the ankle and blood dripping from the shiny metal teeth. The machine however was still in perfect working order.