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Litter picker struck by plant loses both legs

A Shropshire-based recycling firm has been fined after a collision involving a 36-tonne shovel loader resulted in a double amputation for one of its employees.

Image credit: HSE

James Hurst, a litter picker for Jack Moody Recycling, was collecting rubbish at the company’s composting site in Redhill, Telford, on 5 December 2014. He was standing next to a brick wall when the driver of a shovel loader drove over him, Shrewsbury Crown Court was told.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the driver was unaware he had struck someone and just thought he had hit the brick wall. He climbed down from the cab to inspect the damage and found Hurst badly injured on the floor.

He was airlifted to hospital, where both his legs had to be amputated below the knee. He died in September 2016 but his death was not related to his injuries, the court was told.  

According to the Shropshire Star, the driver had been dazzled by the sun when he hit Hurst. 

The HSE’s investigation found the company annually reviewed its risk assessment, though it did not include the necessary measures to segregate pedestrians and vehicles. 

Jack Moody Recycling pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,641. 

HSE inspector David Kivlin said: “This is a heart-breaking story where a worker suffered horrendous injuries. It is vital that organisations have proper risk management in place when pedestrians and large industrial machinery are working closely together. 

“The waste recycling sector, which is made up of around 120,000 workers, has a statistically higher rate of workplace injury and work-related ill health than other sectors. 

“In trying to address this issue, HSE is currently in the middle of targeting the sector with an inspection initiative that will look at certain activities to ensure effective management and control of risk. 

“We are calling on anyone in the industry to take the time to refresh their knowledge of our advice and guidance, available for free on our website. Every worker has the right to return from work safe in the knowledge that their employer takes their health and safety seriously.”


Keeley Downey was the former assistant editor of IOSH Magazine. Previously she was editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine


  • This accident at a waste yard

    Permalink Submitted by Barry Cooper on 24 October 2017 - 02:53 pm

    This accident at a waste yard does not surprise me; mobile plant and pedestrians are allowed to move around the yard in many of these sites'. One in particular that I know have people walking around mobile plant and under the grab of excavators, with no controls in place whatsoever; this would never be allowed on a construction site, so why ate a waste recycler. The HSE accept these types of activities and say this is acceptable in manual waste separation activities, as it is unavoidable - How come it is acceptable when it isn't in construction

  • There certainly seems to be

    Permalink Submitted by Jason Kennedy on 31 October 2017 - 07:58 pm

    There certainly seems to be an issue with plant/pedestrian interfaces in the recycling industry, I beleive this is due to an increase in work activities at these plants and what would appear little or no investment in the infrastructure of these establishments.
    The directors of these companies need to start investing in health and safety and take onboard the consequences of not being proactive, unfortunately until this occurs more workers will either be seriously injured or killed.


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