Skip firm fined after worker ‘crushed between vehicles’

Thorncliffe Building Supplies has been fined £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,856, after a worker suffered “life changing injuries” when he was struck by a reversing vehicle.

The HSE reported that the company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

According to a statement from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the incident took place on 6 June 2019 at the company’s site in Abergele, Wales, which houses its skip hire and recycling division.

The statement explains that during a hearing on 18 November, Mold Magistrates’ Court heard that the skip lorry driver drove into the waste management yard area of the site and parked his vehicle.

As the driver was removing the net from the skip, a loading shovel from the same company reversed into the driver, “trapping him between his vehicle and the loading shovel”. The HSE said that the worker sustained “life changing injuries” including fractures to his pelvis and a crushed bowel.

Thorncliffe Building supplies pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the HSE said.

When approached by letsrecycle.com, the company declined to comment.

Investigation

The HSE said its investigation found that the site’s system to control risks from transport was “not fully adequate and not monitored”, which “exposed workers to risks”.

The body added that at time of the incident the inner banksman, who is responsible for managing traffic at the site, was not present at his station, neither were any measures in place to prevent new vehicles from accessing the site.

‘Easily avoided’

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Sarah Baldwin-Jones said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply following correct control measures and safe working practices.

“Monitoring of the safe working practice and CCTV evidence would have highlighted risks created when the banksman left the yard area. A rising barrier fitted at the yard entrance, or relief cover for the banksman during the day, would have prevented this incident occurring.

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

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