Sunday, 13 November 2016

New Earth Solutions fined £118,000 (low because of them being in administration) for death

New Earth Solutions Group Limited, a Kent-based waste and recycling company, was fined £118,373 (inc. costs) after an employee died when wasted material collapsed on top of him.
The circumstances were:
  • The  company failed to undertake and prepare risk assessments or safe systems of work for the creation and management of the stockpiles or adequate training.
  • Neville Watson was working close to the pile of waste material after connecting a shredder to the loading shovel he was driving. 
  • He died of asphyxiation whilst under the pile of waste that appeared to be over eight-metres-high.

The judge indicated that is the company had not been in administration the fine would have been between £600,000 and £1.3million.
The HSE inspector said:
“The request for Mr Watson to carry out the shredding operation was made without any form of structured training being in place. The company failed to ensure that Mr Watson was supervised by an employee trained in the task he was carrying out, particularly in light of the fact that he had never carried out the task before.”

Consillium Environmental Services fined £34,500 after worker was caught in conveyor

Consillium Environmental Services Limited, a Lancashire-based environmental services company, was fined £34,500 (inc.costs) after a worker suffered serious injuries when his arm was crushed by machinery.
The circumstances were:
  • No suitable and sufficient risk assessment had been carried out to identify the risks from rollers on a conveyor. 
  • There was no suitable isolation process or guarding in place, and no safe system of work for cleaning the rollers.
  • On 20th May 2015 a worker was working on a waste line cleaning out waste plastic material from a conveyor belt when the machinery was started and his arm was drawn in between the rollers and the belt.
  • He suffered crush injuries in two places on his left arm and needed extensive surgery. 
  • He has not been able to return to work since the incident.

The HSE Inspector said:
“This incident was entirely preventable. It is essential to take effective measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery. As in this case the outcome for ignoring these simple safety measures can result in life changing injuries and a substantial fine.”

Recycling company fined £308,000 for fractured arm and leg whilst working on a shredder

Countrystyle Recycling Limited, a Kent based recycling company, was fined £308,903 (inc. costs) after a worker was injured whilst repairing a shredder.
The circumstances were:
  • The company did not have adequate or suitable systems in place to protect the health and safety of their employees.
  • There was no isolation (lock-out) procedure for machinery.
  • The company had allowed unchallenged poor practice to become the norm.
  • On 7 October 2013, a plant mechanic was in the process of repairing a shredding machine after the metal plate forming the roof of the hammer drum had become detached. 
  • He was kneeling on a conveyor belt inside the shredder without the shredder being isolated when it restarted.
  • He was thrown from the machine and suffered a fractured right leg and left arm

Jiffy Bag manufacturer fined £123,000 for loss of thumb

Jiffy Packaging Company Limited was fined £123,509 (inc.costs) after a worker’s thumb was severed due to inadequate guarding over dangerous parts of machinery.
The circumstances were:
  • The company’s risk assessment had been written nine years earlier by an employee untrained in creating risk assessments. 
  • The assessment did not identify risks related to unguarded machinery or any control measures.
  • Although the company had partially guarded the rollers and cogs of the machine with an interlocked guard, they failed to take adequate measures to prevent access to all dangerous parts of machinery.
  • The company had previously been served with several HSE Improvement Notices highlighting machinery guarding issues
  • A worker reached through an unguarded section in the frame of one of the machines to clean ink from a roller. 
  • The rag he was using got caught in one of the motorised cogs, causing his hand to be pulled into the rotating cogs. 
  • His left thumb was severed, resulting in him receiving skin grafts in hospital and being unable to work for 15 weeks

The HSE inspector said:
“The employee’s life changing injuries could have been prevented if a suitable and sufficient risk assessment had been completed and the correct control measures implemented. The day after the accident the company carried out a new risk assessment of the machine guarded the area in which the employee reached through with a clear plastic screen. The company followed this up with a written safe system of work relating to cleaning the rollers.’’