UK Waste Firm Fined for Using Dangerous Equipment

The Health and Safety Executive served 10 enforcement notices on Murphys (Waste) Ltd between 2009 and early 2014, with the most serious breaches related to defects in machines that presented serious risks of injury or death to employees.

Britain’s Health and Safety Executive announced its prosecution of a southeast London waste firm, Murphys (Waste) Ltd, resulted in a fine and court costs being assessed against the company, which admitted two offences under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. After the hearing, HSE inspector John Crookes said, "Murphys (Waste) has a dismal record of compliance with safety legislation and seemed to be content with repeatedly exposing its employees to unnecessary danger."

HSE had served 10 enforcement notices on the company between 2009 and early 2014, with the most serious breaches related to defects in machines that presented serious risks of injury or death to employees. HSE told the court the latest two failures, relating to a loading shovel and a 360 degree excavator, had prompted the prosecution of the company. During an annual inspection by an engineer in Oct 2013, several defects were found with the loading shovel, including damage to the bolts fixing the front bucket to the machine, which could have led to the bucket falling off and crushing anyone nearby.

Murphys (Waste) Ltd was advised not to use it until repairs were carried out but was later found to have kept it in use until a visit by HSE in January 2014, when a prohibition notice was served to halt any further use of the vehicle.

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