Enva Scotland Limited has been fined following an incident where a 28-year-old employee, Martin Kane, was fatally injured whilst cleaning a mobile shredder.
Paisley Sheriff Court heard that on, 28 March 2018, at their Burnbrae Road, Paisley site, two employees were trying to remove waste that was trapped between a heavy magnet and a hopper on the shredder machine. Mr Kane was struck by the magnet, which fell after he manually removed the locking pins that were keeping the magnet in place.
He sustained extensive head injuries and died as a result.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Enva Scotland Limited failed to provide employees engaged in cleaning and using the shredder with adequate training, information and instruction on the deployment of the magnet fitted to the shredder.
On this occasion, the employer failed to ensure Mr Kane had received adequate information, instruction and training regarding the safe operation and methods of cleaning the machine
Enva Scotland Limited, Unit 49, Burnbrae Road, Linwood Industrial Estate, Linwood, Paisley, Renfrewshire pled guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £264,000.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Russell Berry said: “Employers have a duty to provide safe systems of work for their employees and to provide adequate information, instruction and training on those systems of working. It should have been a relatively simple task to clean the shredding machine using the controls on the machine, as it was designed to be self-cleaning.
“On this occasion, the employer failed to ensure Mr Kane had received adequate information, instruction and training regarding the safe operation and methods of cleaning the machine. It led to Mr Kane adopting an unsafe method for moving the magnet whilst trying to clean the machine manually, resulting in this tragic but entirely preventable incident.”
Health and safety
The news follows recent HSE figures which show fatalities in the waste sector was below the annual average for 2019/20.
Five fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers were recorded for the year 2019/20. This is below the annual average over the last five years – the average being nine. However, the numbers can be prone to year-on-year fluctuations, HSE says.
Looking at the fatal injury rate in terms of the number of fatalities per 100,000 workers employed, agriculture, forestry and fishing and waste and recycling continue to come out worst, the HSE says, with a rate of fatal injury some 18 times as high as the average across all industries.