A skip-hire company has been fi ned £150,000 and ordered to pay £55,000 costs after one its employees, Slovakian worker Jozef Trhan, died when a tyre he was fi tting exploded.

Mr Trhan’s employers C Bialek Ltd (trading as CB Skips) pled guilty to failing to ensure workers’ safety in relation to vehicle repair at their Salisbury waste-sorting yard.

Trhan had worked for CB for four years and, although he was employed to sort through the rubbish brought back to the yard, he had become involved in repairing the tyres and wheels of large industrial waste-moving machinery. CB Skips were aware of this but had not checked whether Mr Trhan had any training or experience in tyre repair, even though this is a requirement for any work on split-rim wheels.

An HSE investigation found that C Bialek gave its workers dangerous and unsafe machinery to use and that they failed to think through the potential hazards and/or to carry out any risk assessments for tyre repairs. In addition, they did not train their workers, including for tyre repair and maintenance, nor did they supervise anyone doing repair work. As Liam Osbourne, the HSE Inspector who investigated the case put it – in essence they ‘did not know what was going on in their own yard.’