PG Skips Limited, a recycling company based in Shropshire has been fined over £17,000 after an employee was injured whilst clearing a blockage in a waste metal chute.
Shrewsbury Crown Court heard how, on the 9 October 2017, the 18 year old was injured when he fell through a chute whilst clearing a blockage. The individual fell an estimated 4 metres through the chute and into a concrete yard below. Another employee was working with the individual and waiting in a telescopic handler to collect the waste metal in a machine bucket. Upon seeing the individual fall they moved the machine to try and catch him however the employee was hit by the bucket. The individual sustained significant injuries including several broken bones.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that there was no risk assessment or safe system of work in place for clearing blockages. The company had not considered the risk of employees falling through the chute from that height.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Sarah Baldwin-Jones said: “This significant injury to an 18-year-old employee in his first employment could have been easily prevented. The remedial action taken to prevent future blockages implemented after the incident had no cost implication for the company. Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise risks from clearing blockages.”
PG Skips Limited of The Lowe, Wem, Shropshire were found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at work Act 1974 and have been fined £17,500.