The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says a ‘catalogue of dangers’ at a recycling company led to the death of one of its workers.
Ben Sewell, 30, from Dartmouth, was killed after likely being thrown from a 6-tonne dumper truck while working at Dittisham Recycling Centre in 2012. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Inspectors identified a lack of adequate training and sufficient safety measures – all of which contributed to the fatal accident.
Eight notices served
Mr Sewell was using the dumper to take the loads of oversized material from one part of the centre to another, Plymouth Crown Court heard.
A colleague at the bottom of the site noticed smoke rising from a section of the track above where he was working. He rushed to the scene and found Mr Sewell lying on his back at the side of the track, 10-metres behind the overturned truck.
The HSE investigation uncovered a catalogue of dangers at the site. It served a total of eight Prohibition Notices on the company preventing its use of various plant and machinery until adequate safety measures were taken.
While there were no witnesses, Mr Sewell’s injuries were consistent with being thrown from the truck. He was not wearing his seatbelt at the time, plus had not received adequate training from the company.
Dittisham Recycling Centre Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £25,000 towards the prosecutions costs.
HSE inspector David Cory says Mr Sewell would most likely still be alive if the company had ensured employees were sufficiently trained, equipment was properly used and the legally-required safety rules were enforced.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: June 18, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown