RRS London Waste Papers Ltd has been sentenced after health and safety breaches led to the death of one of its employees.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told how a RRS London Waste Papers Ltd worker was found dead inside the compaction chamber of a baling machine. The worker had suffered fatal crush injuries in the incident, which occurred on 27 March 2017.
Investigating, the HSE found the worker had fallen down the loading hopper into the compaction chamber of a baling machine. He was most likely attempting to clear a blockage and falling into the chamber initiated the compaction sequence.
This could have been prevented, say the HSE, had RRS London Waste Papers Ltd devised and instructed workers on a safe method for clearing machine blockages. Climbing up the baler to clear machine blockages exposed workers to the risk of falling a significant distance either into the compaction chamber or the surrounding concrete floor.
RRS London Waste Papers Ltd of Manor Road, Erith was found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £250,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,639.77 and a victim surcharge of £170.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Nicholas Wright said: “This tragic incident, which led to the avoidable death of a father, was easily preventable and the risk should have been identified.
“Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery. Maintenance work should only be carried out when the piece of equipment is isolated and confirmed safe. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”