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June 22, 2010

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Company director’s brother crushed by truck

A worker at a Cheshire recycling plant needed part of his leg amputated after he was crushed by an 18-tonne truck.

Halton Magistrates’ Court heard that the incident took place at WSR Recycling Ltd’s Widnes depot, on 14 September 2009. A 45-year-old worker was walking across a tipping bay when an articulated shovel loader struck him. The vehicle was turning a corner, and the driver was unable to see the man before the collision.

The injured worker, who was the brother of the firm’s managing director, suffered serious crush injuries to his left leg, which was later amputated from below the knee.

HSE inspector Chris Goddard said: “This worker has suffered a life-long injury as a result of a tragic incident and was very fortunate not to have been killed. He was run over by a very heavy vehicle, so his injuries could easily have been much worse.

“It was foreseeable that pedestrians would be working in the same area as trucks, and so measures should have been taken to manage the risks. The site should have been properly supervised so that workers were kept away from moving vehicles.”

WSR Recycling appeared in court on 21 June and pleaded guilty to breaching reg.17 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, for failing to separate vehicles and pedestrians. It was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £6338 towards costs.

In mitigation, the company said it had no previous convictions and deeply regretted the incident. The firm subsequently appointed a safety consultant to review its vehicle movements on the site, who later became the company’s new managing director. The company now supervises the tipping bays, and no traffic is allowed in the area when pedestrians are present.

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