Kent Recycling Company Fined

A Kent recycling company have been ordered to pay nearly £17,000 in fines and costs after a a worker's foot was crushed at its site in Folkestone.

19 year old Daniel Brown suffered 16 broken bones in his right foot when the tyre of a 16-tonne Shovel machine ran over it as he was sorting waste at Countryside Recycling Limited in February 2010.
He still suffers with pain and arthritis and has had to give up a possible career in Motocross, having won races at national level and negotiated a potential sponsorship package. He cannot learn to drive for his car licence and has not been able to return to work.

It was raining at the time of the accident and the Health and Safety Executive found that neither the windscreen wipers or the heater on the shovel were working, meaning the windows tended to steam up. The shovel also had a broken wing mirror, no reversing lights, no reversing CCTV and would not always go into gear.

The HSE also found there was no system in operation to ensure moving vehicles and pedestrians were segregated. Employees were simply told verbally to stay clear of manoeuvring vehicles.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Countryside Recycling Limited of Lenham, Maidstone, for failing to operate a safe system at working at their site in Folkestone.

After the prosecution, HSE's inspector Stephen Green said: "The injured worker was lucky not to be killed as a result of this incident, which could have easily been avoided if the long list of failures with this vehicle and systems had been addressed earlier.

"HSE has plenty of helpful guidance that could have been followed, and if the company had implemented a safe system of work, segregating moving vehicles from pedestrians, then a young man wouldn’t have broken a bone for every tonne of weight that rolled over his foot – 16 in total.

“There is no excuse for not having a safe system of work in place.”

Countrystyle Recycling Limited of Ashford Road, Lenham, Maidstone, Kent, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 in relation to the incident. The firm was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £6,221 in costs.