A bale of waste weighing over a tonne fell onto an employee at a recycling firm tragically killing him instantly, a court heard.
Kenneth Swaby’s employer, R&S Recycling Ltd, was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £57,927 after admitting at Worcester Crown Court that it breached the Work at Height Regulations.
Following the court case the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the death of 43-year-old Mr Swaby in February 2011 could have been prevented had the firm, of Beoley in Redditch, implemented “simple and adequate” measures to protect employees working with and next to stacks of baled waste, or any other falling objects.
HSE inspector Jan Willets said: “The risks from materials falling from storage at height are clear, and there are necessary procedures for the safe management of bales in stacks. Yet on this occasion, Mr Swaby was able to walk right next to these unstable bales, with devastating consequences.”
‘Risks not controlled’
The court had heard that Mr Swaby, of Canvey Island, Essex, had been walking past a stack of waste bales at the firm’s plant in Beoley when three of them toppled over. One of them landed directly on top of Mr Swaby, killing him instantly, the court heard.
It heard a subsequent HSE investigation had found that R&S Recycling had
failed to properly control the risks to employees at the site.
The HSE told the court that stacks of unstable material like baled paper and plastic should slope backwards towards the top with the bales interlocked to stop them falling. Their stability should be checked regularly and where there is a risk of them falling workers should be kept well clear.
The HSE said when Mr Swaby was killed the stack of bales was too high and uneven with no measures in place to stop workers approaching on foot.
Accidents at work involving waste can cause a variety of injuries.
Workers who have been injured can be helped to claim for compensation by solicitors at Accident Advice Helpline. To discuss your claim with a member of our expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.
Source: Let’s Recycle