Rushden firm and directors fined for putting workers at risk

The Monoworld site in Rushden
The Monoworld site in Rushden

A Rushden recycling company and its two directors have been prosecuted for multiple safety failings.

Monoworld Recycling failed to manage risks when its staff worked at height, failed to suitably maintain work equipment and failed to control risks from electrical systems.

After several visits from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) a total of 15 enforcement notices were served on the company and three served on each of the two company directors, in less than two years.

The notices covered a range of topics including work at height, work equipment and electrical matters.

An investigation by HSE found employees were instructed to carry out work at height even after a Prohibition Notice was served and staff felt pressurised to complete their work even when they had raised concerns about their safety.

The investigation also found fork lift trucks were left with broken lights and windscreen wipers, marring drivers’ visibility.

Emergency stop buttons on machinery were marked as broken but not repaired over a long period of time.

Monoworld Recycling Ltd, of Irchester Road, Rushden, pleaded guilty at Northampton Crown Court to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Regulation 5(1) of the Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 4(1) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and has been fined £83,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,000.

Dhanesh Ruparelia of Irchester Road, Rushden, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 33(1) (a) of Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months.

He has also been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,000.

Nimaye Ruparelia of Irchester Road, Rushden, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 33(1)(a) by virtue of Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and has been ordered to complete 150 hours community order as well as being fined £7,500 and ordered to pay £7,000 in costs.

The firm has been in court before, in 2015, when it was fined for breaching waste rules.

Speaking after the latest case HSE inspector Neil Ward said: “The company’s failings in this case have put their workers at risk from serious personal injury.

“It was clear the overall approach to business risk was haphazard at best, with a culture of negligence, for which the two directors were ultimately responsible.

“The HSE took proactive action, throughout its dealings with Monoworld, and tried to work with the company when concerns were first raised.”