A waste and recycling firm has been ordered to pay nearly £7,000 after a worker nearly lost his life at its site in County Durham.
The 25-year-old worker was seriously injured after a telescopic materials handler reversed into him while he was sorting recyclable materials by hand at First Skips at Shotton Colliery.
The man was reported in the local newspaper to be Darren Decosemo, son of company director Michael. He suffered a broken shoulder, two fractured toes and a cracked rib. He was off work for several months but has since made a full recovery.
First Skips was found guilty of failing to ensure a safe system of work was in place for the hand sorting of recyclables near moving vehicles, even though this activity made up a substantial part of the company’s daily undertaking. It was fined £3,350 and ordered to pay £3,528.70 in costs.
Speaking after the case, Health and Safety Executive inspector Victoria Wise said: “The injured worker was lucky not to be killed as a result of this incident, which could have easily been avoided had the company implemented a safe system of work that segregated moving vehicles from pedestrians.
“Workplace transport can pose a significant risk of substantial harm if it isn’t properly controlled, and the general safety measures that can be implemented are well known in the industry. There is no excuse for not having a safe system of work in place.”