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Veolia fined after agency worker sustained serious burns

Waste management provider Veolia Environmental Services has been fined after an agency worker was seriously burned by hot ash at an incineration depot in Deptford.

The employee sustained 17 per cent burns to his body whilst cleaning ash from a filtration hopper at a Veolia plant on Landman Way on29 December 2009.

The ash fell onto him when he entered the hopper and started prodding it with a rod in order to clear a blockage. He was hospitalised for almost a month as a result of the burns he sustained.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found Veolia did not follow its own policies and procedures for the management of dangerous tasks of this nature. This put a vulnerable worker at risk by failing to provide him with adequate information or supervision.

City of London Magistrates' Court heard on 27 April that the employee, from Eastern Europe, spoke little English and had not been properly briefed in the working practices at the incineration plant.

Veolia ES SELCHP Ltd, of Pentonville Road, London, N1, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for supervisory failings that led to dangerous working practices. The company was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £12,243.


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