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Recycling sector suffers another work-related fatality

A wood recycling company has been sentenced for serious safety failings after a worker was killed after being struck by a loading vehicle and run over.

Raymond Thomas Burns worked as a load inspector for the company at its site in Redcar. He was walking between a wood pile and a skip in the yard when he was hit by a load shovel.

The court heard that Mr Burns had been working around a large wood pile being used to feed a hammer mill where the wood was smashed to chips. The shovel vehicle was moving material from one part of the site to another. As he crossed to a skip, Mr Burns was struck and run over by the load shovel and died of his injuries at the scene.

HSE found that no segregation measures had been put in place by the company to separate vehicles and pedestrians working on the site. Workers were unprotected from the dangers of constantly moving vehicles – despite previous incidents where vehicles had collided, and workers reporting other near misses.

The company was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay a further £34,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 17(1) by virtue of Regulation 4(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

After the case, HSE Inspector Bruno Porter, said: “This was an entirely preventable death caused by the company failing to have a system to allow vehicles and pedestrians to move safely around each other.”

“The waste industry has a very high injury rate, and most of the fatal and major injuries relate to transport issues. The risks of serious injury and, all too frequently, death, resulting from the failure to control the safe movement of vehicles and pedestrians are widely recognised.”

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