Safety and Assurance Bulletin April 2023

In the News Elsewhere

In the News Elsewhere

Waste firm guilty of corporate manslaughter after worker was  struck and killed by a reversing wheeled loader vehicle.

A waste firm and its director have been  found guilty over the death of a worker  who was run over by reversing mobile  plant.

A worker was fatally injured at a waste  services site. They were working pulling  out  bigger  pieces  of  waste  by  hand  which might get stuck in machinery.  At the same time, heavy mobile plant  would be operating in the yard, pushing  the  waste  into  the  shed  for  sorting.  The worker was struck by a wheeled loading shovel that was missing glass  from one of its wing mirrors and the reversing camera was not switched on.

A second incident just six months later left an employee with broken ribs and other injuries after becoming trapped  in a large mechanical conveyor after he had climbed in to remove a blockage.

Investigators focused on allegations that the company had failed to put in place sufficient working practices to safeguard its employees, including failing to ensure employees  were segregated from moving vehicles during waste sorting.

It was also found that the company failed to provide its employees with adequate training,  monitoring and supervision to prevent vehicle collisions in the yard.

The police report said that a separate investigation by the HSE found that the company failed to ensure that the workforce was provided with the padlocks required for   locking the power source of the machinery in the ‘off’ position and did not offer adequate training for dealing with blockages and other maintenance tasks, which required  access behind the machinery guards.

The company was found guilty of a charge of corporate manslaughter.

It  was  also  convicted for two offences of failing to discharge its duty under the Health and Safety at Work  Act.

The company was ordered to pay fines totalling  £640,000,  as well as costs of £60,000.

A company director was also convicted of an offence of failing to discharge his duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

He  was sentenced to six months in prison,  suspended for 12 months.

The company had failed to put in place sufficient working practices to  safeguard its employees.

Farmer prosecuted after dumper truck overturns, injuring young worker

Farmers should ensure that only properly trained and qualified people use work equipment on their farms.

A farmer has been fined after a teenage worker suffered serious head injuries when a six-tonne dumper he was driving overturned. According to HSE, the 19-year-old and his friend, who was 16, had been paid to move excavated material as part of improvement works. The dumper truck overturned on a steep incline.

The investigation found that the farmer had failed to ask either worker for their age or what experience they had before giving them a short briefing of what he wanted them to do. The steep route that he told them to take with the dumper truck was inappropriate as it was steeper than the vehicle’s manufacturer said it could work on. In addition, the seat on the vehicle was covered with a fertiliser bag, meaning that the seatbelt could not be worn.
The farmer pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,324.

HSE Inspector Simon Jones said: “Farmers should ensure that only properly trained and qualified people use work equipment on their farms and should ensure that any equipment that they provide is safe to use. In this case Mr Palfrey allowed young and inexperienced workers to operate work equipment that could not be used safely. A dumper should only ever be operated by a trained driver and the seatbelt should always be worn. These young and untrained workers should never have been allowed to operate the farm dumper. Young workers need careful nurturing and damaging them in this way can affect their future development. If Mr Palfrey had made the proper checks then this young worker would not have sustained the life-threatening head injuries.”