Director barred after fatality

Jo Francis
Monday, January 10, 2022

The co-owner of a waste paper merchant where a fatal accident took place has been disqualified from being a director.

Insolvency Service: RRS materially contributed to fatal accident
Insolvency Service: RRS materially contributed to fatal accident

Joseph Douglas Esqulant was director and co-owner of RRS London Waste Papers, based in Erith. 

In 2017 a worker at the business was killed after falling into the compaction chamber of a baling machine while attempting to clear a blockage. The baler then activated, causing fatal crush injuries. 

RRS London Waste Papers was placed into creditors’ voluntary liquidation prior to the subsequent court case in 2018, when the business was fined £250,000. 

Esqulant, whose last known address is in Erith, has now been disqualified from being a director for four years, effective from 5 January 2022. 

The Insolvency Service said that RRS failed to devise a safe system for the clearage of blockages at the hopper, allowed an unsafe system to exist, and failed to have any written risk assessment or written systems in place for both the general operation of the baler and the clearing of blockages.

“RRS failed to ensure that the baler was maintained in a safe condition such that guards and other safety features were not present and/or as a result of the aforementioned breaches the company materially contributed to a fatal accident which occurred on the 27 March 2017,” the Insolvency Service report stated.

“The company was fined £250,000 which it was unable to pay.”

RRS had nil assets and an estimated total shortfall of more than £84,000 when it was placed into liquidation. 

The liquidator subsequently received claims totalling just under £330,525 from four creditors. 

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