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British Rubber & Polyurethane Products Association

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Recycler fined £370,000 over worker death

Posted on 15 May 2013

A worker at one of the world’s largest materials recycling
firms was killed because of a failing to properly segregate people and
moving vehicles, a court has heard.

European Metal Recycling (EMR) Limited, which operates across Europe,
Asia and the Americas, was ordered to pay more than £370,000 in fines
and costs for its safety failures after also accepting shortcomings
linked to training, instruction and supervision.

The company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
after Linas Mataitis, 25, from Mitcham, was struck by the bucket of a
wheeled loading shovel at EMR’s site on Scrubs Lane, Willesden, during a
shutdown clean-up on 18 July 2010.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Jane Wolfenden said: "Linas’ tragic
death was entirely preventable. European Metal Recycling, as one of the
world’s largest recycling companies, should have been fully aware of its
health and safety duties, and of the clear risks presented by vehicle
and pedestrian movements.

"A risk assessment isn’t a paper exercise where a ‘one size fits all’
approach is acceptable, and the company should have properly planned for
the shutdown operation where the level of risk was significantly
increased – implementing safe systems of work to suit.

"The same can be said for training, instruction and supervision, where
there was no clear direction or protocol for monitoring new or
inexperienced workers.

"As a consequence of the company’s failings Linas’ family continue to grieve the loss of a son, brother and partner.”