Liverpool recycling company Centriforce Products must pay a fine and costs of more than £130,000 after a worker was crushed to death when a pile of plastic bales collapsed.
Paul Andrews was fatally struck by the falling bales, which had been delivered to Centriforce in May 2017 and stacked as freestanding columns in a yard.
A forklift truck driver noticed that one of the columns of bales, stacked three high, had partially collapsed and obstructed his path, so he straightened and stabilised it using the forklift.
Some hours later Andrews was working near the 500kg stack when it toppled, crushing him. The scene was not discovered until nearly an hour later when efforts to revive him failed.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Centriforce Products had failed to store waste plastic bales securely and failed to carry out a suitable assessment of risks to employees within the danger zone of unstable stacks.
Centriforce Products pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,540.95
HSE inspector Rohan Lye said: “This appalling incident could so easily have been prevented if Paul’s employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved and put a safe system of work in place.
”Their failure to do so has left [his wife] Claire without her husband and two daughters without their father.”