ERJ staff report (BC)
London – A Burton-on-Trent, UK tire collection and recycling company has been fined after a teenage worker was seriously injured when he was hit by a falling stack of tires.
Lewis Peach, 19, had to be airlifted to hospital when several bales of compressed tires collapsed. The bales, each weighing nearly a tonne, bounced on to him and one trapped him by the leg.
On 15 May the UK Health and Safety Executive prosecuted Saltire Recovery Ltd after an investigation into the incident at the firm’s site at Cascade Works, Wellington Road on 4 July 2012. Stafford Magistrates’ Court was told that the company, which grades and sorts tires for resale, failed to ensure a safe system of work was in place for stacking the bales of shredded and compressed tires.
Peach, of Burton-on-Trent, broke his pelvis, his left foot, ankle and leg, right arm, hand and wrist and fractured two bones in his neck. He also suffered deep cuts to his left leg. He was in hospital for 11 days and is still off work.
HSE found the bales had not been stacked safely and were unstable. There was no safe system of work for stacking them, which needed particular skill due to their irregular size and shape. Magistrates heard that there was no inspection regime to identify an unstable stack and the company had failed to prevent pedestrian access to the area.
Saltire Recovery Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to protect its employees. The company was fined £8000 (€9448) and ordered to pay costs of £4722 (€5577).
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News release from Health & Safety Executive