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Viridor fined over £105,000 for two serious incidents

Viridor Waste Management (VWM) has been ordered to pay over £105,000 for two incidents that led to employees being badly injured. 

In the first case, the company was fined £100,000 at Airdrie Magistrates after two operatives sustained serious leg and pelvis fractures from being struck by a loading shovel.

The incident occurred during September 2004 in an unauthorised area of Bargeddie Waste Recycling and Transfer Station near Glasgow.

While the site had been acquired from Enviroscot in 2003 and a series of health and safety measures were being taken, the serious accident is said to have instigated a sea change at the site with a programme of improvements being implemented.

VWM managing director Mike Hellings said: After 50 years in business, Viridor is disappointed to be in this position, given the efforts, measures and procedures in place at this and all its sites to ensure a safe working environment. Nevertheless the company recognises its duty under the relevant legislation and as a responsible employer, and of course regret the injuries suffered on this occasion.

Its directors and managers work closely with employees, customers, contractors and site visitors to prevent accidents and maintain health and safety procedures. The company will learn key lessons from this serious incident and following prosecution will continue to strive to raise health and safety awareness and further improve its performance.

In another case, Hellings appeared at Central London Magistrates where VWM was fined a further £2,500 and ordered to pay £2,914 costs after an employee in Croydon had his foot seriously injured by a tractor.

While using towing equipment to remove a drain in June 2005, Daniel Bonnell slipped and his foot was crushed by the rear moving part of the machinery.

He was trapped for an hour before being released by the fire brigade and taken to hospital. As a result, he has been unable to work for six months.

The Health and Safety Executive brought the prosecution and its inspector Andrew Withers said: I hope this case serves as a warning to all employers and higher management that failing to pay attention to or spend money on health and safety can be very costly.

In this case there was evidence that the company has spent a significant amount of resources on health and safety controls and that they appeared to be keen to have high standards. However, it was shown that the actual standards fell below what was adequate.



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