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Scrap Company Fined £200,000 After Lorry Driver Death

Sims Group UK Limited, owners of a scrap metal yard in Newport, have been fined after a lorry driver died when a crushed car fell onto him from a scrapheap.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the company after truck driver Adrian Turner was crushed by a metal bale which rolled off a heap.

Mr Turner, 50, from Wolverhampton, was delivering scrap to the site on 28 April 2008 and was directed to deliver his load to the metal shredder area of the yard.

He left his cab and was opening the rear doors to his trailer when the one and a half ton metal bale on an adjacent scrap pile came loose and fell approximately 20 feet straight onto Mr Turner.

Sims Group UK Ltd, pleaded guilty to a charge under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and at Cardiff Crown Court the company were fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £57,500 costs.

Mr Turner's widow issued the following statement: "While the financial penalty handed down to Sims Group UK Ltd today offers little comfort to our family we hope that it serves as a warning to those companies operating in the waste recycling industry. It should be an absolute priority to ensure that the ways in which they work are as safe as possible, so that an incident like this never happens again".

"We have been torn apart by Adrian's death and wish that no other family has to endure the loss of a loved one in the manner we did."

Mr Turner's widow's Solicitor, Toni Long, of Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham Office said: "Mr Turner simply went to work as normal on 28 April 2008 to provide for his family, as he would do on any weekday.  Due to the negligence of Sims UK Limited Mr Turner did not return home, leaving my client without a husband and their children without a father.  This accident simply should have not happened.  Had a proper system for the stacking and storage of scrap metal been in operation, the scrap would never have been unstable and would not have fallen.  All employers must provide workers with a safe place and a safe system of work.  This appalling accident is made even more poignant as it occurred on National Workers Memorial Day.  A civil claim is also being pursued."

If you’ve been seriously injured at work due to defective equipment, our serious injury solicitors could help you claim compensation. Visit our Defective Work Equipment Claims page for more information.

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