Life-Changing Injuries From Falling Down Waste Chute
A pair of London companies have been ordered to pay close to $175,000 in fines and costs after a lorry driver sustained life-changing injuries when he fell down a processing chute at a waste recycling plant, according to information from the Health and Safety Executive(HSE).
The Old Bailey was told the agency worker, then 49, was employed by ICSL Accord Ltd as a skip lorry driver. He was tipping rubbish into a deep waste chute at Hornsey Street Waste and Recycling Centre in Islington when he fell 32 feet from the rear of the vehicle down the chute.
The incident was investigated by HSE, which prosecuted both ICSL Accord and the centre’s operators, London Waste Ltd, for serious safety failings.
The court heard that the worker, from Islington, who does not want to be named, sustained life threatening injuries. He was treated at the Whittington Hospital for fractures to two vertebrae and was in a spine brace for nine months, unable to work.
Will Never Be Able to Return to Career
An independent medical report suggested the man would never be able to return to his career as a HGV driver. He now walks with a limp and is limited in the range of activities he can undertake.
HSE told the court that in 2006 London Waste sites, including Hornsey Street, were inspected and audited. HSE inspectors recommended the company reassessed its tipping arrangements and avoided work at height by directing drivers to tip their loads into flat bays.
The incident could have reportedly been prevented had that procedure been in place, and the company has since made improvements to ensure it is.
Failed to Provide Sufficient Training
According to HSE, ICSL failed to give some employees sufficient training in how to safely tip rubbish at the site; London Waste failed to monitor non-compliance of site safety rules, and both companies failed to cooperate and coordinate site activities.
London Waste Ltd, of Advent Way, Edmonton, was fined $62,000 and ordered to pay $53,335 in costs after being found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Meantime, ICSL Accord Ltd, of Albany Way, Welwyn Garden City, was fined $37,350 with $17,500 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the same legislation.
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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