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Fatality at Bywaters prompts HSE warning

A employee has died at Bywaters’ MRF in east London, prompting the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to issue a bulletin to the waste and recycling industry.

But few details are being made public at this stage.

The company released a statement saying: ”Bywaters can confirm with great sadness that an operative at our Lea Riverside site had a fatal accident on 13 June 2017. We are working with the HSE and local police investigations. Our thoughts are with his family, colleagues and friends.”

It is the second fatality at a UK recycling facility within the space of a month.

A man in his 20s died at Baldwin Skip Hire in Besthorpe, Norfolk, on 15 May. He was named in local reports as James Criddle.

Chief inspector Paul Wheatley of Norfolk police told a local newspaper: “It’s an industrial incident resulting in a tragic fatality. We have put a seal in and we are working with the HSE to work out the chain of events.”

The HSE called the deaths “horrific”, and in response has issued a bulletin to the waste and recycling industry. A spokesperson said the move was to remind industry that contact with moving machinery was one of the main causes of death in the sector.

The bulletin read: “Tragically, within a month of each other, two men have died at separate incidents within the waste and recycling industry, early reports suggesting that these were both machinery-related incidents.”

The HSE said the fatal injury rate in the sector is around 10 times the average.

The agency has developed a draft plan for the sector, with one of the main priorities being reducing the number of people killed by moving vehicles or caught in moving machinery.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I write as the MD of Bywaters. The Company takes any injury or risk of injury very seriously and we always work closely with our own H & S Staff, external H & S advisors and the HSE. Every recommendation to enhance H & S from any source has been carefully considered before being professionally implemented on a continuous basis. There were no outstanding works at the time of the incident and the single person involved was working alone and had no reason to put himself into danger. The Police and the HSE have not been able to report back further on this matter. Following this unexplained incident additional precautions were immediately introduced. Directly employed staff have worked 7 million hours in the last ten years and our H & S policies have continually reduced risk and injury over this time to a very low level. We hold ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 and we are truly dedicated to doing everything possible to reduce and eradicate all forms of risk and we will continue to do so. 11 May 2018

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