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Recycling Firm Fined Over Workplace Safety Failures

Expert Welcomes Action


The decision to fine a recycling firm which failed to carry out risk assessments that could have prevented a worker passing out has been welcomed by a leading workplace injury lawyer.

David Urpeth of Irwin Mitchell commented after Overton Recycling of Lye was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay £6,107 of costs over an incident in which 47-year-old Stephen Barnes passed out while working on a machine used to recycle fridges.

The employee climbed into a chute linked to the machinery in order to unblock it, but the presence of nitrogen made him pass out.

An inspection into the incident revealed that no assessment had been carried out in relation to the gas in the chute, while the firm was told it should also have systems that mean people do not need to enter the confined space to clear blockages.

Accident at work solicitor David Urpeth said: “Risk assessments are a vital part of keeping workers safe and it is vital that such checks are carried out on all areas of work which could lead to potential problems.

“The failure to carry out the assessments in his case meant that a worker was hurt and the firm was fined, so I hope that this legal action serves as a warning to many other companies.

“Everyone in the world of work deserves to know that their employers take their welfare seriously.”