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Environcom England fined after stack of cookers fall on worker

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) recycler Environcom England has been fined £7,000 after a worker was injured by a stack of falling appliances.

An agency worker suffered back and chest bruising after a stack of cookers and washing machines fell on him at the company’s Spittlegate Level processing plant, Lincolnshire, in 2009, where Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigators found appliances were stacked five or six high.

Environcom pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £7,000 for the 2009 incident, £5,915.20 in costs and an additional £10,000 following an inspection in December of that year, when it was found that the appliances were still stacked dangerously high.

HSE inspector Judith McNulty-Green said: “The worker was extremely fortunate not to have been more seriously hurt and the company could have done so many things to prevent his injuries.

“Heavy machines like cookers and washers should never have been stacked so high. If they had been stacked on their side it would have provided a broader and more stable base and stacking them against a wall would also have given much more stability.

“The range of simple, common sense measures that could have been taken to prevent heavy stacks of machine toppling over just goes to underline what basic mistakes Environcom made – its failures and this sentence should be a warning to other recycling firms to take safety seriously.”

A statement from Environcom said: “With an entirely new management team we have invested the majority of our time and focus in addition to over £500k in upgrading every aspect of safety across our entire operation.

“Environcom is unrecognisable today from the business that suffered these issues almost two years ago, now Health and Safety is the first priority for Environcom in every role at every level.”

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