Firms fined for Bristol waste centre accident

Two Dorset companies have been fined for safety failings after a man was injured by an industrial vacuum cleaner at a waste treatment site in Bristol.

The unit struck the 53-year-old from Bristol when ash inside the filter was being dislodged by a fork lift truck.

The man suffered back and rib injuries, and was off work for seven months.

New Earth Solutions Group Ltd was fined £14,000 and NEAT Technology Group Ltd was fined £16,000 after pleading guilty at at Bristol Magistrates' Court.

The companies admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act by failing to ensure the safety of workers.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the companies failed to assess the risks associated with unblocking the vacuum filters at the Avonmouth site, and did not identify a safe system of work using appropriate equipment to unblock the machine.

They also failed to sufficiently train and instruct workers to unblock the filters safely, and did not monitor or supervise the process.

The HSE said: "This incident could have easily been avoided and the injured cleaner would not have been injured had both companies planned this work properly and provided with appropriate training and supervision."

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