HSE fines Southport waste firm 

Southport skip hire and recycling company, Johnsons Scrap Metal limited, has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,000, after an employee sustained “serious injuries” to his arm, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said.

The incident occurred after the worker had climbed onto the truck to level some wood

According to a statement from the HSE, Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday (25 February) that on 24 April 2019, a 22-year-old worker had been working at Johnsons Scrap Metal at Crowland Street, loading a 44 tonne “third party” vehicle with waste wood when the incident occurred.

The HSE reported that the worker had climbed onto the truck, and while standing on the load, and manually levelled some wood that had prevented the automatic roof sheet from completely covering the load.

As he was climbing back over the load, the automatic sheeting device was “inadvertently activated”, trapping  the worker’s arm in the mechanism, resulting in injuries that included a broken arm and tendon damage that later needed surgery.

At the hearing, Johnsons Scrap Metal pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Operations manager of the company, Andrew Johnson, who attended court yesterday, said he was “very, very sorry” about the injury to the employee.

Mr Johnson continued: “We respect the findings of the HSE and now have new procedures in place regarding the activity of loading outgoing wagons, which is how the injury occurred.”

Investigation

An investigation completed by the HSE found that the company “failed to assess the risks” and take effective measures to prevent employees from accessing third party vehicles.

The HSE added that the company did not provide adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to employees and “failed to implement risk control measures to ensure their safety” when dealing with third party vehicles.

‘Preventable’

HSE inspector Emily Osborne said after the hearing: “This incident and the resulting injury was entirely preventable had the risk in relation to visiting vehicles been assessed and suitable control measures put in place.

“Those in control of a workplace have a responsibility to identify and devise safe methods of working, and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers.”

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