Liverpool recycling company fined £120,000 after death of their employee.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have issued a press release after an employee of a Liverpool recycling company was crushed to death at work.

On 24 May 2017, Centriforce Products Limited of Errington Works, Derby Road, Bootle received a delivery of waste plastic bales. The bales were then stacked as free-standing columns in a yard. In the morning hours, one of the columns of bales was seen by a fork lift truck driver to have partially collapsed. The driver used a fork lift to stabilise the stack that was obstructing his path before continuing with his tasks.

Later in the day, Paul Andrews was working in the area where the straightened stack was. Suddenly, over 500kg of top and middle bales toppled, falling on Mr Andrews and crushing him. The Liverpool Crown Court was informed that it was not until an hour later that Mr Andrews was discovered, by which point the efforts to revive him were futile.

The Health and Safety Executive, which is a UK government agency in charge of the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, launched an investigation into the incident.

They found that the recycling company failed to securely store their waste plastic bales, resulting in their collapse. Additionally, they failed to perform suitable assessment to identify safety risks to the employees working within the area of the unstable stacks.

Centriforce Products Limited Bootle pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £120,000 and will also have to pay costs of £10,540.95.

In this case, it’s clear that the company could have prevented the tragic death of Mr Andrews if they had recognised and dealt with the safety risks present. Sadly, their error cost Mr Andrews his life. It also left his wife widowed and their two kids without a father.

It is important that employers are hold accountable to the neglect of health and safety of their employees. To make sure that happens, we offer expert legal advice from our experienced solicitor.

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