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Contractor prosecuted and fined for serious crushing incident

A Lancashire skip hire contractor has been prosecuted and fined £15,000 following a serious vehicle crushing incident.

Peter David Marquis of Bryers Farm, Lea Lane, Lea, Preston was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £4,631.60 in costs by Preston Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

A 17-year-old employee at Marquis waste transfer station at Railway Sidings, Kirkham was crushed when a 13-tonne excavator backed into him on December 21 2007.

Employees had been carrying out a process called 'totting' - sorting out recyclable materials from skips. They had been working on the floor of the transfer station while the excavator and a loading shovel worked close by. The excavator tracked back and crushed the teenager, breaking his femur and pelvis and causing serious internal abdominal injuries.

Health & Safety Executive inspector Stephen Garsed said: "While nothing can make up for the appalling life-changing injuries suffered by the teenager, Mr Marquis has accepted full responsibility for the incident from the outset and has not attempted to blame others. This incident occurred because Mr Marquis and his staff did not see the risk of people working close to machines.

There is ample advice on the HSE website about health and safety in the waste industry. It is now so easy to find that there can be no excuse for not knowing the standards to meet or for not making sure that risk assessments and operating procedures follow best practice."


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