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Company prosecuted after worker killed
RRS London Waste Papers has been sentenced after health & safety breaches resulted in the death of one of its employees, who was found inside the compaction chamber of a baling machine. The worker had suffered fatal crush injuries.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive into the incident, which occurred in March 2017, found the worker had fallen down the loading hopper into the baling machine's compaction chamber. He was most likely attempting to clear a blockage and falling into the chamber initiated the compaction sequence.
The investigation found that this could have been prevented had RRS London Waste Papers devised and instructed workers on a safe method for clearing machine blockages. Climbing up the baler to clear machine blockages exposed workers to the risk of falling a significant distance either into the compaction chamber or the surrounding concrete floor.
RRS London Waste Papers of Manor Road, Erith was found guilty by Westminster Magistrates' Court of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £250,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,639.77 and a victim surcharge of £170.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Nicholas Wright said: "This tragic incident, which led to the avoidable death of a father, was easily preventable and the risk should have been identified.
"Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery. Maintenance work should only be carried out when the piece of equipment is isolated and confirmed safe. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards."
31st May 2018