Salisbury company CB Skips fined over employee death

A Wiltshire skip hire company has been fined £150,000 over health and safety failings which resulted in the death of a Slovakian worker.

Jozef Trhan, 33, was killed when a tyre he was fitting exploded at CB Skip Hire in Salisbury in February 2008.

C Bialek Ltd (trading as CB Skips), which admitted failing to ensure workers' safety, was fined £150,000 at Salisbury Crown Court on Monday.

The court heard Mr Trhan had not been given the right training by the firm.

He had been employed at the company's premises on London Road to sort through skip rubbish brought back to the yard, the court was told.

But he became involved in repairing the tyres and wheels of industrial waste-moving machinery.

CB Skips was aware of this but did not check he had had the necessary training.

The court heard that a "lack of regular vehicle maintenance and absence of training" had resulted in the "dangerous practice of workers welding the wheel components into place, which they incorrectly thought would improve safety".

On the day of his death, Mr Trhan had been welding the sections of a wheel together and inflating the tyre when the welds failed, causing the inner tube to explode.

Liam Osborne, the Health and Safety Executive [HSE] inspector who investigated the case, said: "C B Skips failed to protect Mr Trhan in a number of ways; essentially, they didn't know what was going on in their own yard.

"It was pure chance that nobody else was near the wheel when it exploded as this incident could have easily led to more deaths and injuries."

The company, based at St Thomas Farm, was also ordered to pay £55,000 in costs.

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