Company ordered to pay more than £300,000 after employee crushed to death by vehicle…
A large recycling company has been prosecuted after an employee was killed as a result of the firm’s failure to segregate pedestrians from moving vehicles.
The company, which operates globally, was fined £300,000 after it pleaded guilty to various safety failings related to training and supervision.
The 25-year-old accident victim died after he was hit by the bucket of a loading shovel in Willesden in July 2010. The machine crushed the man against a steel column, inflicting fatal injuries on him.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident discovered he had been working in a team on the day of the accident, and was using hand shovels to remove dirt and debris. There were three vehicles being operated in the vicinity of the men to transport the piles of dirt from the premises. When one of the vehicles, returned to be refilled, the fatal accident occurred, as it struck the accident victim pushing him against a conveyor support.
The court was told that the company failed in their duty to safely manage the movement of workers next to heavy machinery and vehicles, and did not have the safety protocols in place to protect their employees while in their working environment. It was also revealed that the driver of the loading vehicle hadn’t received adequate training for the tasks he was carrying out.
The company was fined a total of £300,000 and ordered to pay an additional £72,901 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
HSE Inspector Jane Wolfenden spoke after the hearing:
“The man’s tragic death was entirely preventable. The company should have been fully aware of its health and safety duties, and of the clear risks presented by vehicle and pedestrian movements.
“A risk assessment isn’t a paper exercise where a ‘one size fits all’ approach is acceptable, and the company should have properly planned for the shutdown operation where the level of risk was significantly increased –implementing safe systems of work to suit.
“The same can be said for training, instruction and supervision, where there was no clear direction or protocol for monitoring new or inexperienced workers.”
Author: Julian Roberts
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