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A Derbyshire waste management firm has been fined following the death of one of its workers.

The incident occurred in June 2013, when Ashley Morris, 24, was crushed to death by a loading shovel. Rainbow Waste Management Ltd has been prosecuted following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), into the fatality. Morris, who was better known as Will, was working at the Swadlincote site when the incident occurred.

During the incident, the loading shovel bucket crushed Morris, causing injury to his spine and head that proved to be fatal. CCTV footage from the 10 days prior to the incident clearly showed more than 200 working practices which were deemed unsafe. Included in these were workers being lifted in the buckets, and other employees having to avoid the moving vehicles as they were working.

The company pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act at Derby Crown Court, and was fined £136,000, with costs of £64,770 to also pay.


The mother of Will, Mrs. Josephine Morris, said that her son was particularly missed during family events, adding that he would regularly play golf with his father. However, since Will’s death, his father has not played a round of golf.

Many accidents in the workplace could be avoided by implementing safe working practices, including the use of safety workwear and PPE. A company has a duty of care to its workforce, which involves compliance with health and safety legislation.

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