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HSE investigation results in fine of £250,000

18 June 2018

Health and safety breaches by a waste processing company have resulted in a substantial fine and costs awarded against the business following the death of one of its workers.

This followed an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an employee of RRS London Waste Papers was found dead on site.

The worker had suffered fatal crush injuries after falling into the compaction chamber of a bailing machine, the HSE said.

Occurring on 27 March 2017, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard that the most likely cause of the accident was that the employee had been attempting to clear a blockage, before falling into the chamber and activating the compaction sequence.

This was deemed to be an avoidable incident by the HSE, which staged that it could have been prevented had the company devised and instructed workers on a safe method for clearing machine blockages.

Clearance of blockages required workers to climb up the bailer, with the risk of falling a significant distance, either into the compaction chamber or onto a concrete floor.

The court found RRS London Waste Papers, of Manor Road, Erith, guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work, etc, Act 1974.

In addition to the £250,000 fine, the company was ordered to pay costs of just under £6,640 and a victim surcharge of £170.

The HSE highlighted the high number of incidents occurring within the waste processing and recycling sector last year and is continuing to work with the industry to reduce the number of accidents.

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