*Cleanzine-logo-10a.jpgCleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 13th June 2024 Issue no. 1118

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Waste management company fined after inadequately trained worker is seriously injured

* Waste-worker-burnt.jpgA waste management company has been fined after an inadequately trained worker suffered serious burns to his face and body, along with broken bones, after the metal crowbar he was using came into contact with a live electrical conductor.

The man was moving heavy duty electrical cables with the crowbar on a mobile elevating working platform in July 2021, when the bar came into contact with the live conductor, causing an electrical explosion at Copper Hill industrial estate, Barkston Heath, Lincolnshire.

The worker had been contracted by New Earth Solutions (West), trading as Mid UK Recycling, to work at the firm's recycling plant at Copper Hill industrial estate. An investigation by The Health & Safety Executive into the incident found that this task was not part of the normal workload for the injured worker and that he had not received any training with regard to undertaking electrical work. Further, that the task had not been properly planned nor risk assessed and the electrical cables were not isolated before work began.

In addition, the level of supervision provided was inadequate and safety devices on the electrical supply had been set inappropriately, prioritising continuity of supply over safety of the electrical circuit.

New Earth Solutions (West), of Station Road, Caythorpe, Grantham, Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Last month, the company was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £12,466.60 in costs.

"This incident could so easily have been avoided by properly planning the task, ensuring that all workers involved were suitably competent and making sure that electrical conductors were isolated before the work began," says HSE inspector Tim Nicholson.

"Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards."

More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:


HSE guidance on electrical safety can be found at: www.hse.gov.uk

6th June 2024

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