A Bridgend recycling firm has been ordered to pay 250,000 in fines and 53,100 in costs after a 21 year old worker was crushed to death when he was struck by a skip lorry on a weighbridge he was cleaning.
Geraint Eagle, of Nant Y Moel, near Bridgend, was cleaning sensors on the weighbridge at the waste site run by Nolan Recycling Ltd Air Jordan 1s at The Old Quarry, Stormy Down, Pyle, when the incident happened on 2 December 2010.
Cardiff Crown Court heard today (25 September) that Mr Eagle, who had only worked at the site for six months, suffered fatal head injuries when he was hit by the lorry as he lay on the bridge to chip mud off the sensors completely unseen by the driver.
The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted Nolan Recycling for serious safety breaches.
The court was told that Mr Eagle had been told to clean mud off the sensors on the weighbridge Air Jordan 12s and, as he had not done the job before, he worked alongside a more experienced worker who also looked out for traffic. However after taking a break, he returned to work alone.
A skip lorry drove onto the weighbridge where Mr Eagle was lying prone and chipping away at the hard mud. He picked up his tools and Air Jordan 23s moved out of the way. The driver briefly got out of his cab and went into the site office, returned and drove on, unaware Mr Eagle had returned to his work on the weighbridge.
The lorry hit the young worker, and he died at the scene. Geraint Eagle had been in a total blind spot to the driver when he decided to return to his work.
The HSE investigation uncovered a series of failings by Nolan Recycling Ltd. The company failed:
to appreciate the risks associated with the site
to give full instructions, guidance and training Air Jordan 2011 to staff
to monitor and supervise staff, particularly Geraint Eagle
to devise a transport policy to segregate people from vehicles, and
to provide a system of proper maintenance for equipment like the weighbridge
to prepare a health and safety plan
HSE said there was nothing to stop lorry drivers driving on or off the weighbridge despite the maintenance work taking place. A suitable risk assessment for the work would have identified the potential dangers of lorries mixing with pedestrians on the site.
Nolan Recycling Ltd of The Old Quarry, Stormy Down, Pyle, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined a total of 250,000 and ordered to pay 53,100 in costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector, Sarah Baldwin Jones, said:
was a horrific incident with tragic consequences. It left Mr Eagle’s girlfriend without a partner, and his son, born eight months after the incident, without a father.
were multiple failings at the site, which should have been obvious and could easily have been addressed.
Recycling Ltd should have closed the weighbridge while the work was taking place, had a clear written risk assessment for the maintenance work and had policies in place to separate site workers from moving vehicles. They should also have provided proper training to Mr Eagle and his colleague who was supervising his work.
can be no excuse for companies in the waste industry not taking reasonable steps to safeguard their workers as there is a wealth of information and guidance from trade bodies as well as the HSE. Eagle’s father, Paul Eagle, who also lives in Nant Y Moel said:
all miss Geraint very much. This tragedy has had a huge impact on the family.
Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act Jordan Winterized 6 Rings 1974 states: shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.