Viridor fined £400,000 for safety failings
Banksman run over and crushed by shovel loader on waste and recycling site suffers life-changing injuries
VIRIDOR Waste Management Ltd have pleaded guilty to causing a life-changing injury to one of their employees. Folkestone Magistrates’ Court heard that, on 27 February 2017, the employee was crushed by a reversing 22.5-tonne loading shovel driven by an on-site contractor at Viridor’s Materials Recycling Facility site in Crayford, Kent.
The injured employee was working on foot in the area in his role as banksman, assisting a lorry to manoeuvre into a bay while a shovel loader reversed out of the bay independently, knocking him to the ground and driving over the lower half of his body.
He suffered very serious internal injuries and multiple serious fractures, both with significant life-changing effects.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Viridor Waste Management failed to organize the workplace in such a way that pedestrians and vehicles could circulate in a safe manner. This prosecution is the fourth in four years for this company, two of which related to fatal incidents.
Viridor Waste Management, who were found to be in breach of Regulation 4(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 by virtue of Regulation 17(1), were fined £400,000.
Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Megan Carr said: ‘This incident is a reminder to the waste and recycling industry as to the importance of good workplace transport control, which can often be achieved by simple pragmatic steps to avoid such incidents from occurring. The HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.’