Recycling firm fined £180,000 for forklift death 18 December 2014

Recycling company Recresco has been fined £180,000 plus £38,693 costs after a worker was killed on his first day when his forklift overturned.

The accident happened at Recresco's glass recycling plant in Manisty Wharf, Ellesmere Port, on 26 April 2010.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the worker had been hired on a temporary four-day contract and was just a few hours into his first day when he was crushed to death.

Recresco was prosecuted by the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) after an investigation found that forklift truck drivers regularly had to work in an area covered in waste materials, which prevented them from turning the vehicles safely.

The court was told that the worker was not wearing a seatbelt and that there was no company policy to ensure seatbelts were worn.

HSE investigators also found that the plant's forklift trucks were not suitable for operation on uneven surfaces or over loose material, such as that found on the site.

Alternative vehicles, such as four-wheel-drive, all terrain shovel loaders, could have been used and were already in use elsewhere on the site – and since the incident, the company uses these vehicles to move all waste material on site.

"Sadly it was entirely foreseeable that someone was at risk of being badly injured or killed," states HSE Inspector Martin Paren.

"If the company had taken some simple measures to reduce the risks, such as using the all-terrain vehicles in use elsewhere on the site, [this worker's] tragic death could have been avoided."

Brian Tinham

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Health & Safety Executive

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