Waste recycling firm heavily fined after death of worker in accident at work

by Redmans Solicitors on September 26, 2013

A Brigend waste recycling firm has been fined and ordered to pay costs amounting to over £300,000 after the death of a worker at its waste site in December 2010.

Mr Geraint Eagle was working for his employer, Nolan Recycling Ltd, at the Old Quarry in Pyle when the accident occurred on 2 December 2010. Mr Eagle was cleaning sensors on a weighbridge – a large set of scales used to weigh trucks – when he was hit by a truck. Mr Eagle had lieing on the floor chipping hard mud from the sensors when a truck pulled up. He got up and moved out of the way but returned to his work at a later time. However, the lorry driver did not see Mr Eagle when he pulled away and ran him over. Mr Eagle sustained serious head injuries and was declared dead at the scene of the accident.

The incident was reported to the Health and Safety Executive, who conducted an investigation and subsequently recommended that the firm be prosecuted for serious health and safety breaches under UK health and safety legislation.

The matter came to the Cardiff Crown Court on 25 September 2013. The Crown Court heard evidence that the Health and Safety Executive had determined that there were a string of serious failures by Nolan Recycling Ltd, such as a failure to appreciate the risk associated with the site; a failure to give full instructions, guidance and training to staff; and a failure to monitor and supervise staff (among other failings). The company pleaded guilty to a breach of s.2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £250,000 as well as being ordered to pay the prosecution’s costs of £53,100 – a total of just over £300,000.

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans, commented: “The Health and Safety Executive found that Nolan Recycling Ltd had manifestly failed to comply with their legal health and safety requirements and that this had caused or contributed to the death of a worker. If companies fail to comply with their legal obligations and workers are injured then they could face heavy fines and orders to pay the prosecution’s costs.”

HSE Inspector Sarah Baldwin Jones said after the hearing: “This was a horrific incident with tragic consequences. It left Mr Eagle’s girlfriend without a partner, and his son, born eight months after the incident, without a father. There were multiple failings at the site, which should have been obvious and could easily have been addressed.”

Redmans Solicitors are employment solicitors in Kingston and can help employees injured at work claim personal injury

Previous post:

Next post: