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Company fined after worker seriously injured

Date:
18 December 2015

A waste and recycling company was fined £450,000 after a stack of baled waste collapsed, seriously injuring a worker.

Leicester Crown Court heard how a 41-year-old employee of Veolia ES (UK) Limited of London, was sweeping up around the base of stacks of baled waste at their site in Castle Donington, when a stack collapsed on him.

He sustained serious head and brain injuries including a fractured eye socket, back and skull.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred in November 2013, found that the company did not identify the risks of inconsistant stacking and de-stacking of baled waste, or the simple controls to manage it.

Veolia ES (UK) Limited, of Pentonville Road, London, was fined a total of £450,000, with costs of £11,676 after pleading guilty to an offence under Regulation 10(4) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Alison Cook said: “Veolia relied upon a flawed and inadequate generic risk assessment.

“Veolia even failed to implement the few inadequate controls they had listed. As consequence workers were exposed over a number of years to the risk of being struck by falling bales of waste. Unfortunately for one worker he was hit by falling bales, causing life changing injuries that have had serious long term effects.

“This prosecution sends a clear message to large organisations that exposing workers to foreseeable risks over a sustained period of time will not be tolerated.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

 

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