Global Recycling Company Fined £150,000 for Worker’s Death

Overview of incident

A worker was killed when part of a 33-tonne metal barge he was dismantling collapsed on top of him.

The injured person tragically died at the scene after he had finished cutting through the outer skin of the barge’s hull and had moved inside the now unsupported structure to cut some supporting braces when the side collapsed in on him.

Details of fine

European Metal Recycling Ltd of Westbrook, Warrington, Cheshire, was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay £80,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified serious flaws with the method of work being used to dismantle the barges.

The company failed to do enough to protect the workers, and ensure that burning contractors on site were competent and working safely.

Injured Person(s)

William Ward, 56, from Handsworth, Sheffield

Company Involved

European Metal Recycling Ltd


Westbrook, Warrington, Cheshire, England


Warwickshire Crown Court


European Metal Recycling Ltd used Mr Ward to work for them as a burner, and were responsible for his safety and for ensuring the barges were being dismantled in a safe manner.

Our investigation found they all neglected that responsibility and Mr Ward has paid the ultimate price with his life – a terrible and senseless loss that was completely preventable had the work been better planned and managed.”– HSE inspector Mark Austin

On hearing of Billy’s death, my world was turned upside down. In those first days after his death, I was in a state of shock.

The news was so sudden and one of the worst things was not to have been able to say goodbye.

Other people can go home to talk to their partners and parents. I have no partner now and the boys have no father.

I think of all the things that Billy will never see – the boys getting married, having children, children which would have been our grandchildren.

As a couple, you build up a picture of your life together going forward – seeing the boys settled, grandchildren, retiring and spending time together. All this has been taken from him, from me and from the boys.-Mrs Jayne Ward, wife of 25 years