A Salisbury skip hire company has been fined £150,000 for breaching health and safety regulations which resulted in the death of a Slovakian worker.

Jozef Trhan was employed by C Bialek Ltd (trading as CB Skips) at a waste sorting yard to separate skip rubbish. Despite having no training or experience, Mr Trhan had become involved in repairing the tyres and wheels of large industrial waste moving machinery.

On the 12th February 2008, Mr Trhan’s 33rd birthday, he was fixing a split rim wheel on a loading shovel, by welding together sections of the split rim before inflating the tyre.

Mr Trhan was knelt in front of the tyre when the welds suddenly failed causing the inner tube to explode. A blast of compressed air launched Mr Trhan head first into an excavator loading shovel.

Mr Trhan sustained fatal head injuries and died in hospital later that day.

Gave workers dangerous and unsafe machinery to use

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting, told Salisbury Crown Court that CB Skips had provided dangerous and unsafe machinery and had failed to carry out a risk assessment for tyre repairs. The firm had failed to train or supervise their workers in a number of areas, including tyre repair.

CB Skips pleaded guilty at Salisbury Crown Court for failing to ensure workers’ safety. They were fined £150,000 and ordered to pay £55,000 in costs.

James Davies a solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors’ Serious Injuries Team said: “Unsafe equipment and a lack of training is all too often a cause of injury for the clients we represent. Here that failure has proved fatal and that is sadly not uncommon.”.

Source: www.hse.gov.uk/press/2011/coi-sw-4.htm