Recycling Firm Fined £10,000 After Worker Breaks Foot

Countrystyle Recycling Ltd has been fined £10,000 by Maidstone Magistrate’s Court following an incident where a 19- year old worker’s foot was broken by a 16-tonne shovel. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the recycling firm for its failure to implement a safe work system at its site in Kent.

The accident in which a 16-tonne shovel which crushed Mr Brown’s foot resulting in 16 bones occurred on February 22 2010. Daniel Brown was busy sorting waste when the tyre of a 16-tonne shovel ran over his right foot. The incident rendered Mr Brown unable to work  and all hopes were lost for his potential motocross career. Recurring foot pain and arthritis are still issues that he must deal with.

An investigation conducted by the HSE discovered that there was no system of segregation between moving vehicles and pedestrian, apart from informing employers verbally to stay clear. The HSE issued an Improvement Notice at the beginning of its investigation to segregate vehicles and pedestrians in a proper manner.

Countrystyle Recycling Ltd admitted guilt to violating section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 in relation to the incident. The firm was ordered to pay fines of £10,000 in addition to £6,221 in costs.

Stephen Green, a HSE inspector, stated –

“The injured worker was lucky not to be killed as a result of this incident, which could have easily been avoided if the long list of failures with this vehicle and systems had been addressed earlier.

“HSE has plenty of helpful guidance that could have been followed, and if the company had implemented a safe system of work, segregating moving vehicles from pedestrians, then a young man wouldn’t have broken a bone for every tonne of weight that rolled over his foot – 16 in total. There is no excuse for not having a safe system of work in place.”

Following the prosecution, a statement issued by Countrystyle stated –

“The Group takes health and safety matters seriously and has significantly strengthened its safety procedures in light of this incident.”