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A recycling plant in Bolton could face legal action after an employee suffered a crush injury in an accident at work.
An unnamed worker was was unloading paper from his truck into a dumping warehouse at DS Smith Paper's site when the accident happened in February 2010.
The 61-year-old from Towyn, North Wales, got out of his truck so he could close its rear hatch using two buttons on its side.
However, as he went to do this, another large lorry drove into the warehouse he was working in and accidentally crushed the man between the two vehicles.
Although he was lucky to survive the work accident, the man received a substantial number of injuries, which included cracked ribs, a fractured right collar bone, a punctured right lung and multiple bruises as a result of the heavy goods vehicle crash.
A subsequent Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found there were significant flaws in DS Smith Paper's accident prevention measures. Inspectors found it was completely normal for two lorries to be in the same warehouse at one time, despite best practice literature warning against this unless a one way system is put in place.
Additionally, it was found staff members failed to enforce controlled entry into the tipping shed and there was not always a supervisor present in the building.
DS Smith Paper was found guilty of breaching the Workplace Regulations 1992 by failing to make sure the site was safe and was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £49,822 in prosecution costs.
After the hearing finished, HSE inspector David Norton said: "The risks caused by large vehicles reversing are well known, yet the company regularly allowed two vehicles into the warehouse at once, without any safety barriers in place.
"The driver suffered horrific injuries as a result of this negligence, and this case should serve as a lesson to other companies working with large vehicles to ensure that the correct safety procedures are in place."
Posted by Francesca Witney
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