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Telehandler boom strike costs paper baler £666k for head crush injuries

A waste recycling company has been fined £666,700 after an employee sustained life-threatening head injuries when a raised telehandler’s boom was lowered on him at the firm’s paper, cardboard and plastics baling facility.

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A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the 34-year-old employee of Countrystyle Recycling had instructed a colleague to use a telehandler to move paper at the company’s Maidstone site on 30 September 2015. The telehandler was left running while the employee left the cab unattended, with the boom elevated.

As the instructing employee was standing close to the telehandler, another employee entered the cab and lowered the boom which struck the worker’s head. The injuries to his brain were so serious that he has been unable to return to work.

The HSE found that Countrystyle Recycling had not suitably planned the work and had failed to oversee the workplace transport activities. The firm had also failed to provide an enough training for employees to operate telehandlers safely.

Countrystyle Recycling pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on 12 December. It also pleaded guilty to breaching reg 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The company was ordered to pay £8,424 in costs.

 

Nic Warburton is acting editor, IOSH Magazine

 Nick Warburton is acting editor of IOSH Magazine. He is a former editor of SHP and has also worked on Local Authority Waste and Recycling and Environmental Health Practitioner

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