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27th November 2013

Recycling Company Fined £200,000 After Worker is Run Over

A wood recycling company has recently been sentenced for serious safety failings after a worker was killed after being struck by a loading vehicle and run over.

The employee who worked as a load inspector for UK Wood Recycling Ltd at its site in Wilton, Redcar, was walking between a wood pile and a skip in the yard when he was hit by a load shovel.

The incident, which occurred on 19 December 2008, was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted the company on 12 November 2013 at Teesside Crown Court.

The court heard that the employee had been working around a large wood pile being used to feed a hammer mill where the wood was smashed to chips. The shovel vehicle was moving material from one part of the site to another. As he crossed to a skip, the employee was struck and run over by the load shovel and died of his injuries at the scene.

HSE found that no segregation measures had been put in place by the business to separate vehicles and pedestrians working on the site. Workers were unprotected from the dangers of constantly moving vehicles – despite previous incidents where vehicles had collided, and workers reporting other near misses.

The company was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay a further £34,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

After the hearing, the HSE Inspector involved in the case said:  “This was an entirely preventable death caused by the company failing to have a system to allow vehicles and pedestrians to move safely around each other.’’

Ideally, segregation is achieved by the vehicles and pedestrians having separate traffic routes.  If they share a route or area then physical barriers should be used to keep them apart, or other means of preventing moving vehicles and people being in the same place at the same time.

For more information about workplace transport safety contact our consultants on the advice line – 0845 459 1724 or visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/index.htm

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