Recycling Firm Fined After Worker Suffers Serious Crush Injuries

Expert Calls On Employers To Not Ignore Safety


A workplace injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell has called on employers to make a safe system of work a priority, after a recycling firm in Ayr was fined over injuries suffered by a worker crushed between two skips.

Lowmac Alloys has been fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs over the incident in August 2009, when 46-year-old Steven Graham was seriously injured after a shovel loader pushed one of the skips towards the other while the worker was in between them.

The worker was left with long-term serious injuries as a result of the incident, including a broken pelvis, and continues to have difficulties walking.

An investigation into the work accident revealed that a full risk assessment had not been carried out on traffic management. In addition, other employees told inspectors that the poor quality of the portable toilet on-site meant workers tended to urinate in the yard – a practice which led Mr Green to be where he was when the incident occurred.

Elaine Russell, a Partner and workplace injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office, said the problems seen in this case must not be repeated.

He explained: “Employers have a duty of care to provide workers with both the facilities and guidance which allows them to care out their jobs in the best and safest possible manner.

“However, this incident is a prime example of when this simply has not been the case. Companies need to recognise the importance of full risk assessments on all aspects of work, while they cannot allow the standards of facilities like toilets to fall so far that they become unusable.

“We see a huge number of cases like this one in which workers have been hurt through no fault of their own in incidents which could have been avoided.

“Standards need to rise following this fine and we hope lessons can be learnt which will ensure all employers make workplace environments safe for their staff.”