A waste management company was told to pay approx £170k for infringements of safety after an employee suffered multiple injuries when he was crushed between a truck and a skip at a site in Essex.  A 29-year-old was caught between a skip loader truck and the skip on 26 January 2013.  The skip loader was manoeuvring into position but struck the worker as it was being driven through a narrow route between the full skip and a fence.

The operative suffered life-threatening injuries including broken ribs, back and shoulder injuries, injuries to the top of his left leg, a chip to the back of his skull and a number of cuts and bruises.  After being taken to a London hospital, he suffered two collapsed lungs and was put into an induced coma for 3 days, being in hospital for a total of 17 days and requiring considerable physiotherapy.

Following hospitlisation, he has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by his GP and has not been able to return to work.

Prosecuting, the HSE, found that the company didn’t have sufficient procedures in place to keep workers safely away from vehicles moving around the site.  The court was told that the company had put in place strict measures to segregate visitors from moving vehicles but had not extended them to ensure the safety of its workers.

After the case, HSE Inspector Edward Crick, said:

“…this was an entirely preventable incident… failure to recognise the hazards to workers arising from skip loading operations at their Canvey Island recycling centre, despite tackling the hazards to members of the public.  The consequences of this were devastating for a young man, who will now have to cope with life-changing injuries for the rest of his life.  The risks to pedestrians when they are near operating work vehicles are very serious, but also well-known within industry. There is no excuse, therefore, for companies to disregard vital elements of workplace safety.”

As seen on thr HSE Website