The HSE has said it is vital that companies have proper risk management procedures in place when vehicles and pedestrians are working together, after a recycling firm was fined £100,000 following “life-changing” injuries to an employee.
A litter picker working for Wolverhampton-based Jack Moody Recycling was struck by a shovel loader and lost both of his legs below the knee in 2014.
Shrewsbury Crown Court was told that the litter picker was standing next to a brick wall at a site in Telford when he was hit by the vehicle. The shovel loader driver initially thought he had just hit the wall, but when he climbed down from the cab he found the worker on the floor.
The injured employee, who has not been named, was air lifted to hospital and underwent emergency surgery to amputate his legs.
Jack Moody Recycling, which is based in Hollybush Farm, Wolverhampton, and formerly held an O-licence authorising up to 20 vehicles and seven trailers, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 on 20 October.
It was fined £100,000 and must pay costs of £17,641.62.
HSE inspector David Kivlin said: “It is vital that organisations have proper risk management in place when pedestrians and large industrial machinery are working closely together.
“The waste and recycling sector, which is made up of around 120,000 workers, has a statistically higher rate of workplace injury and work-related ill health than other sectors.
“In trying to address this issue, HSE is currently in the middle of targeting the sector with an inspection initiative that will look at certain activities to ensure effective management and control of risk.
“We are calling on anyone working in the industry to take the time to refresh their knowledge of our advice and guidance.”
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