Atlantic Recycling responds after £300,000 fine over worker death

Following an announcement from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) last week that it has been fined £300,000 over the death of a worker in 2019, Atlantic Recycling said it has ‘reviewed and heightened’ its health and safety measures.*

The defendant was ordered to pay £49,900 for a confiscation order, plus £5,000 in costs

A statement from the HSE last week explained that on 4 September 2019, 59-year-old Barry-based Anthony Bilton was walking across the wood processing yard to at the company’s Atlantic Ecopark Cardiff site, where he was then run over from behind by a Volvo shovel loader.

HSE inspector, Rhys Hughes, said Atlantic Recycling “failed to ensure pedestrians and vehicles were separated at its site”.

The HSE investigation also found that although a risk assessment had been produced prior to the work commencing, it was “not suitable nor sufficient” and was said to have not included work taking place in the wood yard. Additionally, the risk assessment should have identified there was a risk to pedestrians where there were moving vehicles.

Atlantic Recycling pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. As well as the £300,000 fine, the company was ordered to pay £29,917.47 in costs at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court on 28 February 2024.

*This article was corrected at 10:32 on 4 March 2024 to correct the fine amount to £300,000 from the previous £30,000 figure. 

Lasting impact

Reflecting on the verdict, Atlantic Recycling said: “We appreciate there is no mitigation or size of fine that will ever make up for the loss that they have suffered. Atlantic Recycling apologises unreservedly to the family and friends of Mr Bilton, for this tragic incident and the loss they continue to live with every day.”

“Atlantic Recycling has cooperated throughout the investigation with the Health and Safety Executive. The court observed that there were ‘very significant mitigating features’ and favourably contrasted the conduct of Atlantic Recycling with that of many other companies.”

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