Salisbury skip hire firm CB Skips has been fined £150,000 after a worker was killed by an exploding tyre.
C Bialek, which trades as CB Skips, pleaded guilty to a breach of section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act at Salisbury Crown Court and was ordered to pay £55,000 in costs. The legislation relates to a failure to ensure workers’ safety in relation to vehicle repair.
The court heard that in February 2008, Jozef Trhan was repairing a split rim wheel on a loading shovel, when the welds failed and the tyre’s inner-tube ruptured. The blast caused metal components to hit him in the face and body and sent him flying into the air, where he hit a loading shovel head first. He was pronounced dead in hospital.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company gave its workers machinery that was both dangerous and unsafe, and did not conduct risk assessments for tyre repairs, train their workers or supervise people doing repair work.
HSE Inspector Liam Osborne said: “C B Skips failed to protect Mr Trhan in a number of ways; essentially, they didn’t know what was going on in their own yard.
“Workplaces using split-rim wheels need to appreciate that if these wheels are not in perfect condition and people are not fully trained in their repair, their workers could be working near a bomb waiting to go off at any moment. It was pure chance that nobody else was near the wheel when it exploded as this incident could have easily led to more deaths and injuries.”
CB Skips declined to comment when contacted by MRW.