6 February 2020 by James Langley

Company fined after worker injured by falling bale

A Glasgow-based waste management and packaging company has been fined after a worker was struck by a falling bale of compacted wastepaper at a warehouse in December 2016.

In a statement released this week, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety, said Recycled Packaging Ltd of Muriel Street, Barrhead, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

HSE said bales were stacked in columns up to five high with no support to aid stability

The company was fined £20,000 at Paisley Sheriff Court.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Jane Scott said: “In the waste and recycling sector the risks associated with falling objects are well known.

“This incident could easily have been avoided by providing a segregated workspace for operatives to clean bales before they are stacked and safe bale stacking procedures.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standard.”

Investigation

HSE says on 13 December 2016 an employee of Recycled Packaging Ltd was seriously injured in a warehouse in Hillington, Glasgow, when he was struck by a falling bale of paper.

The bale weighed approximately 500kg and he became trapped beneath it.

The HSE said its investigations concluded the method of storing bales was unsuitable, with bales stacked in single columns up to five high with no tying in or support to aid stability.

The investigation also found the company’s practice of removing contamination from bales by hand created voids in lower bales, contributing to the risk of stack instability.

On Recycling Packaging’s website, the company describes itself as a family-run business with more than 40 years’ experience in the waste management and packaging sectors. It supplies recycled packaging materials to a wide array of customers and supplies waste management services for organisations of all sizes.

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