Waste firm in court after death of young worker

Derbyshire-based waste management firm Rainbow Waste Management has been prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) after an employee was crushed to death by the bucket of a motorised loading shovel.

On 7 June 2013, 24-year-old Ashley Morris, who went by the name of Will, was working at Rainbow Waste Management's site in Robian Way, Swadlincote, South Derbyshire, when the motorised loading shovel caused fatal injuries to his head and spine.

Derby Crown Court was told that in the 10 days leading up to the incident, CCTV cameras caught over 200 examples of unsafe working practices and other indiscretions, including workers having to take evasive action to avoid contact with moving vehicles and employees being lifted in the bucket of loading shovels.

If your business is involved in hazardous working environments, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your employees. As well as good health and safety policies, your business should also consider employers’ liability insurance in addition to your general business insurance.

Rainbow Waste Management Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £136,000 and told to pay an additional £64,770 in costs.

Elizabeth Hornsby, the Principal Inspector for HSE, said: “Rainbow Waste failed to put in place basic legal requirements of training and supervision. The death of this young man was entirely avoidable.”