Health and safety breach, Veolia worker suffers serious injuries

Veolia Environmental Services are a waste management provider.  They were recently fined due to health and safety breaches that caused a worker to be seriously burned.  The worker sustained injuries when ash from an incinerator came out of the hopper at the Deptford plant.  The employee suffered burns on 17% of his body during the 2009 incident.

The ash fell on him when he went into the hopper in order to clear a blockage.  He had to be hospitalised for a month due to the burns.  The HSE conducted an investigation and found that Veolia did not follow their own health and safety training regulations for procedures and policies dealing with the management of such dangerous tasks as clearing a blockage.

This led to workers being at risk such as the one that was injured due to ash burns.  If the employee had been trained properly, the incident would not have occurred.  There was a language barrier, as the worker did not speak English well.  This could have contributed to a misunderstanding regarding the cleaning of any blockage.  Veolia for their oversight has to pay £5,000 in a fine and an additional £12,250 in costs for court and the worker injuries.  The victim was definitely vulnerable and Veolia had the opportunity to ensure protection was provided.  They did not offer basic information or training.  They also did not supervise the worker during the performance of the plant work, creating a situation where harm could result.