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HSE highlights recycling as 'high risk'

27 November 2017

Following a high number of fatal and serious accidents concerning workers within the recycling sector, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said it is continuing to target the industry to drive improvement.

Its aims have been further endorsed by the latest court case, which saw the managing director and former operations director receive suspended prison sentences.

This was the result of the death of a worker employed by Mid-UK Recycling of Barkston Heath, Lincolnshire on 19 July, 2013.

The HSE investigation found that fixed gate fencing had been removed for a number of weeks prior to the incident and management were aware of this.

Workers had been able to gain access to the area, leading to the fatal accident occurring when the recycling was started and dragged the worker to his "horrific death", said the HSE.

It said the company's management had failed to design and operate a safe recycling line, including separation of vehicles and pedestrians, and had also not maintained adequate guarding to prevent access during operations, while additionally failing to train and supervise agency workers.

After pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) and Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work, etc, Act 1974, the company was fined £880,000.

Additionally, the company's managing director and former operations director were given 20-week prison sentences, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc, Act.

The HSE report did not state where the case was held, but the HSE has used the case to state it is continuing to target the recycling sector with an inspection initiative.

This is designed to examine specific activities, including machinery guarding and workplace transport, to ensure effective management and control of risk.

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