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Waste company fined after worker crushed between vehicles

A waste company and skip hire company has been fined after a worker suffered multiple injuries when he was struck by a reversing vehicle.

Mold Magistrates’ Court heard how on 6 June 2019, a skip lorry driver drove into the waste management yard area of Thorncliffe Building Supplies’ Abergele site and parked his vehicle. As he was removing the net from the skip, a loading shovel from the same company reversed into the driver, trapping him between his vehicle and the loading shovel. He sustained life changing injuries including fractures to his pelvis and a crushed bowel.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the system of work to control risks from transport was not fully adequate and not monitored; and as a result, was not being followed therefore exposing workers to risks. At the time of the incident the inner banksman, who is responsible for managing traffic at the site, was not present at his station and there weren’t any measures in place to prevent new vehicles from accessing the site.

Thorncliffe Building Supplies Limited of Allt y Graig, Meliden Road, Rhyl pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and have been fined £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,856.

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Sarah Baldwin-Jones said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply following correct control measures and safe working practices.

“Monitoring of the safe working practice and CCTV evidence would have highlighted risks created when the banksman left the yard area. A rising barrier fitted at the yard entrance, or relief cover for the banksman during the day, would have prevented this incident occurring.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”