Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Suez fined for health and safety breaches after worker injured

Suez Recycling and Recovery has been fined £144,000 and ordered to pay costs of £32,000 after pleading guilty to health and safety breaches after one of its employees was injured.

The employee injured his back while manually helping to move gantry steps weighing more than 950kg – equivalent to two grand pianos – at a site in Duckworth Clough, Haslingden, on 10 September 2016.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that moving and realigning steps manually was a regular occurrence, and that employees used a scaffold pole under the steps to move them back into position.

Investigators also found that senior staff knew the steps were being moved in this way and that employees had reported their concerns. However, no suitable assessment had been carried out into how to move the steps safely, and no equipment or aids were considered.

Preston Crown Court fined Suez Recycling and Recovery of Grenfell Road, Maidenhead, on 2 May under Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety and Work Act 1974.

HSE inspector Sharon Butler said: “Incorrect manual handling is one of the most common causes of injury at work. Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working, and to provide the necessary equipment, information, instruction and training to their workers.

“If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

A spokesperson for Suez said: “We put the safety of our employees, and the public we serve, at the centre of everything we do. We have invested significantly in our health and safety management systems over the past decade and created a successful, long-running, ‘Safety in Mind’ programme, which helps us to continually improve our health and safety performance.

“Unfortunately, on this occasion, we have fallen short of our own high standards and this resulted in an injury to an employee although, thankfully, the employee has since recovered.

“We have learned from this incident and, although Suez no longer operates the specific site in question, have reviewed our procedures across the business to ensure similar incidents do not occur elsewhere.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.