A waste management company has been sentenced for safety breaches after an employee and an agency worker both fell from height.
Leeds Crown Court heard that, on the 4 September 2018, an employee of Associated Waste Management Limited was walking across a first-floor gantry at the company’s premises in Morley, Leeds, when one of the metal mesh panels gave way beneath his feet. He fell approximately four metres into the bay below and sustained a double break to the left leg, a break to the right leg and a broken ankle. An agency worker came to assist him, but he also fell through the missing floor panel and sustained a dislocated and fractured shoulder.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the mesh panel gave way because the clips, which held it in position had become dislodged after a shovel loader, working in the bay beneath the gantry, stuck the frame of the gantry. Due to the height of the gantry, when the shovel loader raised its bucket it came into contact with the gantry. Repeated striking of the gantry resulted in a number of clips, which held the gantry panels in place, becoming loose or dislodged.
Associated Waste Management Limited of St Bernards Mill in Gelderd Road, Gildersome, Morley, Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £760,000 and ordered to pay costs of £16,170.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Darian Dundas said: “The company did not have a suitable inspection regime in place.
“This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.”