Northamptonshire firm Monoworld Recycling and two directors have been prosecuted after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found “multiple safety failings” at their Irchester Road site in Rushden.
The sentencing last week came after the company pleaded guilty earlier this year.
Monoworld Recycling was ordered to pay around £90,000 and one of its directors was handed a 26 week suspended prison sentence, after a sentencing hearing at Northampton Crown Court on 28 September.
The court heard, said the HSE, how Monoworld Recycling “had failed to manage risks when its staff worked at height, failed to suitably maintain work equipment and failed to control risks from electrical systems”.
Earlier this year Monoworld Recycling Ltd of Irchester Road, Northamptonshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Regulation 5(1) of the Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 4(1) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and was fined £83,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7000.
Mr Dhanesh Ruparelia pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 33(1) (a) of Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months. He was also fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,000.
And, Mr Nimaye Ruparelia also pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 33(1)(a) by virtue of Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was ordered to complete a 150 hours community order as well as being fined £7,500 and ordered to pay £7,000 in costs.
The HSE said that after it made several visits, a total of 15 enforcement notices were served on the company and three served on each of the two company directors, in less than two years.
The notices served by the HSE covered a range of topics including work at height, work equipment and electrical matters. An investigation by HSE found employees were instructed to carry out work at height even after a Prohibition Notice was served and staff felt ‘pressurised’ to complete their work even when they had raised concerns about their safety.
The investigation also found fork lift trucks were left with broken lights and windscreen wipers, marring drivers’ visibility. Emergency stop buttons on machinery were marked as broken but not repaired over a long period of time.
Speaking after the case HSE inspector Neil Ward said: “The company’s failings in this case have put their workers at risk from serious personal injury. It was clear the overall approach to business risk was haphazard at best, with a culture of negligence, for which the two directors were ultimately responsible.
“It was clear the overall approach to business risk was haphazard at best, with a culture of negligence, for which the two directors were ultimately responsible.”
“The HSE took proactive action, throughout its dealings with Monoworld, and tried to work with the company when concerns were first raised.”
When contacted by letsrecycle.com, Monoworld Recycling was unavailable for comment.
Monoworld Recycling has previously been fined for illegally exporting waste (see letsrecycle.com story). In 2016, the company opened a £9 million plastics recycling facility (PRF) in Rushden, Northamptonshire. (see letsrecycle.com story).