North West Recycling Company fined after worker crushed to death

A Liverpool recycling company has been sentenced after employee was fatally crushed by falling bales

During the morning of 24th May 2017 a fork lift truck (FLT) driver noticed one of the columns consisting of bales at Centriforce Products Limited Site, Liverpool, stacked three high, had partially collapsed obstructing his path. He subsequently used the fork lift truck to straighten and stabilise the stack before continuing on his way. Numerous hours later employee Paul Andrews was working in the immediate vicinity of the stack weighing over 500kg toppled and subsequently crushed him.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Centriforce Products Limited had failed to store waste plastic bales securely in such a way as to prevent the risk of collapse. The company had also failed to carry out a suitable assessment which would have identified risks to the safety of employees located within the danger zone of unstable stacks.

Centriforce Products Limited pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and has been fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,540.95.

HSE Inspector, Rohan Lye stated after the hearing that “Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous work activities and prevent future tragedies.”

But what does this mean for your business?

If you’re an employer, Health and Safety responsibilities are not to be taken lightly. You have a legal duty to protect the employees, customers and members of the public on your premises; failure to take the right precautions can prove dangerous, causing injuries, permanent health damage, even disability or death.

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