Crain News Service report
LONDON (May 22, 2013) — A Burton-on-Trent, United Kingdom, tire collection and recycling company has been fined after a teenage worker was seriously injured when he was hit by a falling stack of tires.
Lewis Peach, 19, had to be airlifted to hospital when several bales of compressed tires collapsed. The bales—each weighing nearly a ton—bounced onto him and one trapped him by the leg.
On May 15 the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Saltire Recovery Ltd. after an investigation into the incident at the firm's site at Cascade Works, Wellington Road on July 4, 2012. Stafford Magistrates' Court was told the company—which grades and sorts tires for resale—failed to ensure that a safe system of work was in place for stacking the bales of shredded and compressed tires.
Mr. Peach, of Burton-on-Trent, broke his pelvis, his left foot, ankle and leg, right arm, hand and wrist and fractured two bones in his neck. He also suffered deep cuts to his left leg. He was hospitalized for 11 days and is still off work.
HSE found the bales had not been stacked safely and were unstable. There was no safe system of work for stacking them, which needed particular skill due to their irregular size and shape, the agency said. Magistrates heard that there was no inspection regime to identify an unstable stack and the company had failed to prevent pedestrian access to the area.
Saltire Recovery pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by failing to protect its employees. The company was fined and ordered to pay court costs.
This report appeared in European Rubber Journal, a UK-based sister publication of Tire Business.