Derbyshire waste firm Rainbow Waste Management Limited has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a worker was crushed by the bucket of a motorised loading shovel.
On the 7 June 2013, twenty-four year old Ashley Morris, known as Will, was working at Rainbow Waste Management’s site in Swadlincote. Mr Morris sustained fatal injuries to his head and spine when the bucket of the loading shovel that he was operating crushed him.
Derby Crown Court heard that in the 10 days leading up to the incident, CCTV cameras at site captured over two hundred examples of unsafe working practices. These practices included dangerous operations with the shovel such as workers being lifted in the bucket and workers having to take evasive action to avoid contact with moving vehicles.
Rainbow Waste Management Limited of Robian Way, Swadlincote, Derbyshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £136,000 and ordered to pay £64,770 in costs.
Will’s mother, Mrs Josephine Morris, said: “Family events are a constant reminder that Will is no longer with us. Will would text his dad every Saturday over the football scores. My husband and Will used to play golf together but my husband hasn’t played golf since.”
“Will always used to end his phone calls to me saying “I love you Mum” and even now every time when my grand-daughter says “I love you Nan” I have a lump in my throat, as that is what Will used to say and that was the last thing he ever said to me.”
HSE Principal Inspector Elizabeth Hornsby said: “Rainbow Waste failed to put in place basic legal requirements of training and supervision. The death of this young man was entirely avoidable.”
Phoenix comment “Very often a defendant company may argue that the accident was a one off, and couldn’t have been foreseen. In this case, CCTV footage proved that unsafe practices on the site were a regular occurrence. The comments of the victim’s family also demonstrate the terrible moral consequences an accident of this nature can have.