• Robert Spicer

Death of worker from crushing in baling machine

Death in baling machine: £250,000 fine

Health and Safety Executive v RRS London Waste Papers Ltd (2018) Westminster magistrates’ court, May 30

Statutory reference: S.2 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA)

RRS London Waste Papers Ltd has been fined after an employee suffered fatal crush injuries.

The facts

  • In March 2017 an employee of the company fell down the loading hopper into the compaction chamber of a baling machine. It was most likely that he had been attempting to clear a blockage and his fall into the chamber started the compaction sequence.

  • The incident could have been avoided if the company had devised and instructed workers on a safe method for clearing blockages.

  • Climbing up the baler to clear blockages exposed workers to the risk of falling a significant distance either into the compaction chamber or onto the surrounding concrete floor.

The decision

The company was fined £250,000 plus £6639 costs plus a victim surcharge of £170 under s.2 of HSWA.

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