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Recycling company sentenced over worker injury

Date:
12 June 2015

A company specialising in the recycling of waste plastic was fined today (Friday 12 June 2015) after a worker was injured when he fell from an industrial sized waste bin. 

Worthing Magistrates court heard that on 17 June 2014, the worker fell approximately 2.5 metres from the top of a large roll on/off waste bin while manually tipping out non-recyclable waste plastic into the waste bin from a tonne bulk bag. 

At the time of his fall, the injured party was standing inside the waste bin with the top of the container reaching up to shin height. There was nothing to prevent him from falling out of the container while manually unloading the bulk bags into the waste bin. As a result of his fall, he suffered broken collar bone and wrist as well as a blow to the head. 

The man’s employer, Southern Plastic Recycling Limited pleaded guilty at Worthing Magistrates’ Court to breaching of Section 3(1) of Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 for which a £500.00 fine was imposed, and a breach of Section 6 (3) of Work at Height Regulations 2005 which attracted a £1000 fine. 

The company of Jury Lane, Sidlesham Common, Chichester, West Sussex was also ordered to pay costs £1043.00. 

HSE Inspector Suzanne Matthews said: “Had the company carried out a proper risk assessment of the work, they would have identified both the foreseeable work at height risk involved and how that risk could have been avoided by choosing a system of work which eliminated the need for employees to work at height altogether. ”

Notes to Editors: 

  1. Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”
  2. Section 6 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 states: “Where work is carried out at height, every employer shall take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.”
  3. Further HSE news releases are available at hse.gov.uk/press

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