Recycling Firm Fined After Worker Suffers Fatal Injuries

UK Wood Recycling Given £200,000 Fine For Safety Failings

13.11.2013

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

A Manchester-based wood recycling firm has been given a £200,000 fine after it admitted to health and safety failings that resulted in the death of an employee.

UK Wood Recycling pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 17(1) by virtue of Regulation 4(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 during a hearing at Teesside Crown Court.

The fine relates to an incident in December 2008 that left 43-year-old load inspector Raymond Thomas Burns with fatal injuries.

Mr Burns was working at the company's site in Wilton, Redcar, when he was struck and run over by a loading vehicle.

An investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that Mr Burns was hit by the shovel of the vehicle as he walked between a wood pile and a skip in the yard. His injuries were so severe that he died at the scene.

The HSE found that no suitable segregation measures had been put in place to protect pedestrians from coming into contact with moving vehicles. This was despite the fact the company had received reports of collisions, as well as a number of near misses, prior to the accident.

HSE inspector Bruno Porter said UK Wood Recycling relied on drivers and pedestrians looking out for each other and this was "not adequate control".

"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. Ideally, this segregation is achieved by the vehicles and pedestrians having separate traffic routes," he remarked.

Mr Porter also pointed out that the waste management and recycling industry has a very high injury rate, with most fatalities relating to transport issues.

HSE chair Judith Hackitt wrote in a blog post earlier this year that the regulator had received reports of 120 fatalities and nearly 4,000 serious injuries sustained by workers in this particular sector between 2004 and 2012.

Fatality rates in waste and recycling are ten times higher than the national average.

If you have lost a loved one due to an accident at work, our serious injury solicitors could help you claim compensation to help get the answers you deserve. Visit our fatal accident claims or accidents at work claims page for more information.