News & Updates

£144k for recycling company with no safe system of work in place

A recycling company has today been fined after a worker suffered from a back injury after manually moving gantry steps.

Preston Crown Court heard how an employee of Suez Recycling and Recovery Limited helped to manually move steps weighing in excess of 950kg at a site in Duckworth Clough, Haslingden, after repair works had taken place. As a result of this work, the employee sustained a back injury.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found manually moving and realigning steps was a regular occurrence and that employees would use a scaffold pole under the steps to move them back into position. Senior staff knew how the steps were moved and that employees had concerns, as it had been reported, yet no suitable assessment had been carried out, or safe system of work implemented, to avoid hazardous handling. No equipment or handling aids had been considered to help employees manoeuvre the gantry steps.

Suez Recycling and Recovery Limited of Grenfell Road, Maidenhead, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety and Work Act 1974 and has been fined £144,000 and ordered to pay costs of £32,000.