26th July 2016

Tata Steel fined £1.98million

Tata Steel has been fined total of £1.98million (£185,000 was for the first offence and £1.8m for the second offence) and ordered to pay costs of £22,500 after two workers suffered injuries to their hands in two separate incidents involving machinery.

Northampton Crown Court heard how an employee lost two thirds of his left hand and his middle and ring fingers whilst trying to clear a blockage on a steel tube manufacturing line which had unsuitable guarding, and in a separate incident, a team leader lost part of his little finger when his left hand was caught, again in an inadequately guarded machine, whilst he was receiving refresher training.

25th July 2016

Dorset waste management operator given a suspended prison sentance

The operator of an illegal waste cooking oil storage and processing plant located in the Dorset countryside has received a given a four month prison sentence suspended for eighteen months, ordered to carry out two hundred hours unpaid community work and made the subject of a Criminal Behaviour Order.  He was also ordered to pay £20,000 costs.

Waste oil was being kept at the site in an ‘ad hoc and haphazard fashion’. This resulted in neighbouring properties and a stream being polluted. When two of his neighbours complained the defendant threatened them with violence. Environment Agency staff estimated that approximately 60,000 litres of mixed oils and food products were being stored at the site and some of the materials were contaminated with plastics, wood and human wastes.

Total costs for clean up of the site may exceed £50,000 for which West Dorset District Council may launch civil proceedings against the operator to recover this money. The Environment Agency had also incurred £29,500 in investigation and legal costs.

21st July 2016

Leeds businessman jailed for environmental fraud

A Leeds waste operator has been jailed for seven years and six months for defrauding the electrical waste recycling industry out of £2.2million.

The defendant falsified paperwork to claim that his firm had collected and recycled more than 19,500 tonnes of household electrical waste during 2011. The company never handled the amounts of waste described and was not entitled to the substantial recycling fees paid.  Seized documents showed that the company was claiming money for waste collections from streets and properties that did not exist. Vehicles used to transfer waste were recorded as being in Northern Ireland, England, and Scotland on the same day and some vehicles did not exist at all. Documents also showed weights of waste being collected by vehicles which could never have carried such loads.

The defendant has previous convictions for fraud and illegally exporting hazardous waste to Nigeria.