Two waste management companies have been sentenced this week following separate incidents which occurred in 2016 and investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
B & W Waste
Bedfordshire firm, B & W Waste Management Services Ltd, was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,603.14, after two of its employee suffered burns whilst processing flammable aerosols.
Luton Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 12 July 2016, two workers were processing flammable aerosol canisters using an industrial plastic shredder.
The canisters were “highly pressurised” and, while using a gas operated forklift to lift them into a shredder, a spark from the forklift ignited a cloud of gas created by the shredded aerosols, leading to an explosion, HSE said.
While both workers were injured, one suffered “serious third degree burns” which left him in an induced coma for 10 days, on a life support machine, HSE reports. The individual has undergone several operations and has been left with “considerable permanent scarring” and a lifelong dependency on medication for nerve pain.
An investigation by HSE found the work “was not suitably planned, not supervised by a competent person nor was it carried out in a safe manner”.
B & W Waste Management Services Ltd of Thurleigh Road, Milton Earnest pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (1) of Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 and has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,603.14.
In Derbyshire, CP Environmental Limited has been fined £34,000 and ordered to pay costs of £19226.35, after an employee sustained “serious injuries” to his foot while adjusting a waste shredding machine.
Chesterfield Magistrates Court Heard how on 17 May 2016 an employee was adjusting the shredder to prevent the rotating teeth of the shredder catching on the mesh sieve on the bottom of the machine.
“While he was kneeling on the open side door of the machine; used to access shredder, he used the machines remote controller to rotate under power the shredder,” HSE says. His foot was caught between the rotating shredder and the machine bed “resulting in amputation of his big toe and part of another toe on his right foot”.
An investigation by HSE found that the company failed to ensure that their employees had been trained to operate the machine safely. Had employees been trained to operate the machine safely they would not have been on the machine before testing the powered rotation of the shredder, HSE states.
CP Environmental Limited pleaded Guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 and were fined £34,000 and ordered to pay costs of £19226.35.
Source: letsrecycle.com General