A food waste disposal and recycling firm has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive following an incident in which three were employees were overcome by toxic gases at an animal waste facility in Stoke-on-Trent.
Stafford Crown Court heard how an employee of John Pointon and Sons Limited entered a section of an animal waste trailer in order to release its contents when he was overcome by the toxic gases. Two other employees who also entered the trailer were also overcome by gases including hydrogen sulphide, and a reduced oxygen atmosphere.
The Health and Safety Executive told the court that the entire incident was preventable. HSE also told the court that the incident could have resulted in fatalities. Furthermore, the company in question had been prosecuted on two previous occasions for two similar incidents involving confined space entry that had proven fatal.
John Pointon and Sons Limited, of Bones Lane, Cheddleton, Stoke-on-Trent, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Regulation 5(1) of the Confined Spaces Regulations 1997. The company was fined £250,000 with costs of £37,362.
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Source: Health & Safety Executive