Failure to implement the few inadequate controls identified

Veolia ES (UK) Limited, a major waste and recycling company, has been fined £450,000 after a stack of baled waste collapsed, seriously injuring a worker in November 2013,

Leicester Crown Court heard (18 Dec) how a 41-year-old employee was “sweeping up” at the base of stacks of baled waste at their site in Castle Donington, when a stack collapsed on him.

He sustained serious head and brain injuries including a fractured eye socket, back and skull.

HSE  investigators found that the company failed to identify the risks of “inconsistent stacking and de-stacking of baled waste” or the simple controls to manage the risks.

Assessment ‘flawed’

Veolia ES (UK) Limited, of Pentonville Road, London, was fined a total of £450,000, with costs of £11,676 after pleading guilty to an offence under Regulation 10(4) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Alison Cook said:

“Veolia relied upon a flawed and inadequate generic risk assessment.

Veolia even failed to implement the few inadequate controls they had listed. As consequence workers were exposed over a number of years to the risk of being struck by falling bales of waste. Unfortunately for one worker he was hit by falling bales, causing life changing injuries that have had serious long term effects.

This prosecution sends a clear message to large organisations that exposing workers to foreseeable risks over a sustained period of time will not be tolerated.”

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