Ayr-based recycling company Lowmac Alloys has been fined £80,000 after a worker was severely injured when he was crushed between two skips.
On 26 August 2009, Steven Graham was standing in between two skips at a yard run by Lowmac Alloys when an 18-tonne shovel loader pushed one of the skips towards the other crushing Mr Graham in the process.
The driver of the loader did not hear Mr Graham’s screams for help at first, and when he did, it took two attempts to lift a skip out of the way. As a result, he was treated for a broken pelvis and other severe injuries.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had not properly assessed traffic management at their site in Ayr and had not maintained a safe system of work as there were no barriers or road markings to separate pedestrian workers from shovel loaders or other workers on site. The shovel loaders were also found to be too big for the area they were working in. Drivers had never been trained or given health and safety instruction.
There was also only one portable toilet on site that was unhygienic and had no running water. As the toilet was so filthy, workers told the HSE that the preferred to urinate in the yard. This was why MR Graham was between the skips.
HSE inspector Aileen Jardine said: “Mr Graham suffered horrendous injuries that will affect him for the rest of his life, but this incident was entirely avoidable.
“If Lowmac had taken simple steps to protect their staff, carrying out a proper risk assessment and taking measures to separate employees from their heavy vehicles that operated on site, this would never have happened.
“And if the company had shown basic consideration for the welfare of their employees by providing a toilet that was fit to use, Mr Graham would not have been left in such a vulnerable position.”