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Reversing skid steer loader crushes crown jewels

16 Aug 12 A Staffordshire waste company has been fined after an employee was crushed between a skid steer loader and a skip.

The 23-year-old man from Cannock was handpicking waste from a skip at Rugeley Environmental Waste Services Ltd on 5 September 2011 when a skid steer loader reversed into him, pinning him against the skip.

The man suffered what are described as ‘soft tissue injuries to his groin’. It was so bad that he had to be taken to hospital by air ambulance and was off work for several weeks.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the vehicle was being used in a relatively confined space and no measures were in place to segregate vehicles and pedestrians.

The investigation also revealed the company had failed to carry out a risk assessment of its workplace transport activities.

Rugeley Environmental Waste Services Ltd, of The Embankment, Power Station Road, Rugeley, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of employees. Stafford magistrates fined the firm £5,000 and ordered it to pay costs of £4,306.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Wayne Owen said: "Workplace transport is the second biggest cause of death in the workplace. It is vital that risk assessments are carried out where vehicles are involved and suitable control measures put in place to prevent incidents such as this.

"This company had a poor and unsafe system of work. Had the company segregated vehicles and personnel, a man would not have suffered a painful injury."

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