By Sintons Law

On 13 December 2016, an employee of Recycled Packing Limited was seriously injured in his workplace, when he was struck by a falling bale of paper weighing approximately 500kg, becoming trapped beneath it.

During their investigation, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified that bales were stacked in single columns up to five high with no support or ‘tying in’ to aid stability, thus noting the method of storing was unsuitable. It was also noted that the practice of removing contamination from bales by hand had created voids in the lower bales which contributed to the risk of instability.

At Paisley Sheriff Court, Recycled packaging Ltd of Muriel Street, Barrhead pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £20,000.

Following the hearing, HSE inspector Jane Scott said: “In the waste and recycling sector, the risks associated with falling objects are well known. This incident could easily have been avoided by providing a segregated workspace for operatives to clean bales before they are stacked and safe bale stacking procedures. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standard.”

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