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Company Fined After Serious Vehicle Safety Failings

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Company Fined After Serious Vehicle Safety Failings

Adhering to health and safety procedures in the workplace is paramount to prevent nasty injuries and sometimes fatalities.

Nothing exemplifies this quite like the incident that occurred at UK Wood Recycling Ltd back in December 2008.

43 year old Raymond Thomas Burns worked as a Load Inspector for UK Wood Recycling Ltd and was working around a large wood pile on 19th December 2008, whilst at the same time a shovel vehicle was transporting materials from one side of the site to the other. As Burns was going about his business, he was struck down and run over by the shovel vehicle where he then died from his brutal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that there were no segregation methods in place on site to divide pedestrians from vehicles, so colleagues had no protection against the potential dangers of moving vehicles carrying heavy loads.

Even previous near misses and incidents of colliding vehicles was not enough of a wakeup call for them. Yet since the death of Burns, UK Wood Recycling Ltd admitted that their current working practices were not acceptable and it was foolish to rely on pedestrians and drivers to simply notice one another, rather than implementing official health and safety procedures to ensure safety at all times when working on the site.

This waste industry as a whole have a high injury rate with most major injuries being caused due to the lack of control and safe movement of vehicles and pedestrians on site, but in this specific case, HSE Inspector Bruno Porter concluded that, “A conscientious and hard-working man has lost his life in this senseless way”.

As a result of this tragic incident, UK Wood Recycling Ltd was prosecuted at Teesside Crown Court. They were fined £200,000 and made to pay out an additional £34,000 after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety regulations laid out in the Workplace Regulations 1992.

This avoidable tragedy not only highlights the importance of following legitimate procedures in the workplace, especially if you work in the waste industry, but also the damaging consequences that can happen when you don’t.

There really is no excuse for not implementing health and safety procedures and if you need any help with training your staff, then contact the experts at Health and Safety Training Ltd today for more information about legal requirements and how to protect your staff and your business.

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