Metals recycler fined US$1.5 million

A United Kingdom-based metals recycling company has been fined £1.2 million (US$1.5 million) after a worker was injured after being struck by a skip loader truck at a processing site.

The yard of CT Booth where the incident took place. The yard of CT Booth where the incident took place. (PHOTO: HSE)

On 10 August 2020 an employee of CF Booth was walking across the site yard in Rotherham when he was struck by a moving 32-tonne skip wagon.

The worker sustained a fractured skull and also fractured his collar bone in two places, but fortunately has since made a full recovery.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that at the time of the incident the site was not organised in such a way that pedestrians and vehicles could circulate in a safe manner.

According to the health and safety regulator’s investigation, a suitable and sufficient workplace transport risk assessment was not in place for the segregation of vehicles and pedestrians.

“The company had failed to take steps to properly assess the risks posed by the movement of vehicles and pedestrians,” said HSE. “The incident could have been prevented by adequately assessing the risks and implementing appropriate control measures such as physical barriers and crossing points.”

The government agency added that “the man was not wearing his hi-vis jacket and did not see the wagon approaching. The wagon driver did not see the employee prior to the collision due to concentrating on manoeuvring the vehicle around some low-level skips which had been placed on the corner near where the employee was crossing the yard.”

The case against CF Booth was recently tried at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court. CF Booth pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were fined £1.2 million and ordered to pay costs of £5,694.85.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Kirstie Durrans said: “If CF Booth Limited had assessed the risks and ensured vehicles and pedestrians could circulate in a safe manner, this incident could have easily been avoided.

“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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