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9th February 2022

Recycling Company Fined After 18-Year-Old Employee Is Injured

Judge's gavel

What’s Happened?

A recycling company has recently been fined £17,500 after an 18-year-old employee was injured whilst clearing a blockage in a waste metal chute.

Fall from Height

The young employee was injured when he fell through a chute, approximately four metres above a concrete yard, whilst clearing a blockage. In an attempt to break his fall, another employee who was sitting in a telescopic handler waiting to collect the waste metal in the machine bucket, saw him fall and moved the machine to try and catch him. Unfortunately, the employee was hit by the bucket and sustained injuries including several broken bones.

Investigation

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) subsequently ensued. The Inspector found that there was no risk assessment or safe system of work in place for clearing blockages. Additionally, the company had not considered the risk of employees falling through the chute from
that height.

PG Skips Limited appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court where it was found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at work Act 1974. The company was fined £17,500.

Speaking after the hearing, the HSE inspector involved in the case said: “This significant injury to an 18-year-old employee in his first employment could have been easily prevented. The remedial action taken to prevent future blockages implemented after the incident had no cost implication for the company. Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise risks from clearing blockages.”

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