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Lowmac Alloys fined £80,000 after skips crush worker

image captionThe HSE identified several failings at the Ayr recycling site

A recycling firm has been fined £80,000 after admitting health and safety breaches over an incident where a worker was crushed between two skips.

Steven Graham, 46, was trapped between the skips at a recycling centre in Ayr, run by Lowmac Alloys, after an 18-tonne shovel loader hit one of the skips.

He was treated for a broken pelvis and continues having difficulty in walking.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the firm had not properly risk assessed traffic management on site.

It also found Lowmac Alloys had not provided and maintained a safe system of work in that there were no barriers or road markings to separate pedestrian workers from the shovel loader or other vehicles on site.

The investigation also found that the shovel loader was too big for the area where it was operating, and the drivers had never been formally trained, were not supervised, and had been given no training at all on health and safety issues.

The one portable toilet on site was found to be unhygienic with no running water.

Several of the employees told HSE inspectors that the toilet was so filthy they preferred to urinate in the yard, and this was a practice accepted by management.

It was this situation that led to Mr Graham being between the skips.

Following the ruling, 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 the heavy vehicles that operated on site, this would not 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."

At Ayr Sheriff Court, Lowmac Alloys Ltd, of Green Street Lane, Ayr, plead guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.