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Recycling firm fined over fatality

Recycling firm fined over fatality
European Metal Recycling (EMR) has been fined in excess of £370,000 following a hearing at Southwark Crown Court this week.

The company has been prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) after an incident in July 2010 saw 25-year-old Linas Mataitis tragically lose his life at the company's facility on Scrubs Lane in Willesden.

EMR pleaded guilty to breaching both Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 after it emerged Mr Mataitis had not received appropriate training to carry out his responsibilities, while at the same time management at the firm had failed in their duty of carrying out extensive risk assessments.

The accident at work took place during a routine cleaning of conveyors in the vicinity of one of the site's large shredding machines, with Mr Mataitis struck by the bucket of a wheeled loading shovel and pinned against a metal column, resulting in his fatal injuries.

"A risk assessment isn't a paper exercise where a 'one size fits all' approach is acceptable, and the company should have properly planned for the shutdown operation where the level of risk was significantly increased - implementing safe systems of work to suit," commented HSE inspector Jane Wolfenden.

"The same can be said for training, instruction and supervision, where there was no clear direction or protocol for monitoring new or inexperienced workers."

She added that all of these aspects combined resulted in a tragic loss of life that could easily have been avoided.

EMR was fined a total of £300,000 and ordered to pay prosecutions costs amounting to £72,901.

The processing and sorting of waste recycling in the UK is one of the most hazardous sectors in which to work. It is therefore imperative that employers take their safety responsibilities seriously and staff take the time to carry out all essential training that is offered to them.

Contact our accident and injury solicitors on 0800 916 9046 or email if you would like advice on any personal injury matter

Posted by Chris Stevenson