Recycling Company Fined £144,000 After Worker Suffers Manual Handling Injury

Suez Recycling and Recovery Limited has been fined £144,000 and ordered to pay costs of £32,000 after a worker suffered from a back injury after manually moving gantry steps.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that following some repair work, an employee of the company helped to manually move steps weighting in excess of 950kg at a site.

It emerged that manually moving and realigning steps was a regular occurrence and that employees would use a scaffold pole under the steps to move them back into position. Senior staff knew how the steps were moved and that employees had concerns, as it had been reported, yet no suitable assessment had been carried out, or safe system of work implemented, to avoid hazardous handling. No equipment or handling aids had been considered to help employees manoeuvre the gantry steps.

Speaking after the hearing, the HSE inspector said: “Incorrect manual handling is one of the most common causes of injury at work. Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary equipment, information, instruction and training to their workers. If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

For further information contact Andrew Braund on 07974 980842 or email