Monday, 12 January 2015
METAL RECYCLERS PROSECUTED FOR H&S FAILINGS
Lincolnshire-based metal recycler BW Riddle has been landed with an £88,000 bill (fine of £70,000 & costs of £18,000) after one of its workers suffered broken ribs in an incident at one of the firms sites.
A maintenance worker was carrying out work on the firm’s sloping conveyor belt, when the power was switched back on and the whole of the line reactivated. This caused the man to fall from the belt onto a heap of scrap metal below, and then onto the concrete floor, breaking ribs on both sides of his body.
A subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the conveyor belt had not been isolated, & as a result the company was prosecuted by HSE for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The HSE had previously taken enforcement action for the same problem in 2010 & 2011.
EMR has also recently been fined £150,000 (plus £80,000 costs) for a much more serious accident that resulted in the death of a contractor at its Kingsbury (Warwickshire) depot.
The man was killed when part of a 33-tonne metal barge he was dismantling collapsed on top of him. He had been working alongside others to cut and dismantle two large steel barges & had moved inside the unsupported structure after cutting through the outer skin of the barge’s hull. The side collapsed in on him, resulting in catastrophic crushing injuries & he died at the scene.
The HSE identified serious inadequacies in the method of work used to dismantle the barges, & EMR were found guilty of failing to ensure contractors on site were competent and working safely.