A refuse collection company has been fined £1m this month after a worker was run over and killed in the depot.
Canterbury Crown Court heard how, on 18 October 2013, Veolia ES (UK) Limited’s employee Mr John Head suffered fatal injuries when he was run over by a reversing refuse collection vehicle (RCV) whilst he was walking across the yard, at the Ross Depot Waste Transfer Station in Folkestone.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Following an investigation by the HSE into the incident found that multiple vehicles, including collection vehicles and lorries, were manoeuvring around the yard with no specific controls or direction.
The company was accused of failing to adequately assess the risks involved in the yard and did not implement industry recognised control measures to protect employees.
Veolia ES (UK) Limited of Pentonville Road, London has been found guilty after a trial of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which states;
“The employer’s main duties, so far as is reasonably practical, are to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees”
The same section also specifies (amongst other things):
“A safe place of work including safe acess and egress”
The HSE have clearly put the message across that the company could have done a lot more to control moving vehicles in the depot, and as a result of their inaction there was a fatal accident.
The company has been fined £1 million and ordered to pay costs of £130,000.
HSE inspector Kevin Golding said: “This should be a reminder to all industries, but in particular, the waste industry, to appropriately assess the risks and implement widely recognised control measures to adequately control manoeuvring vehicles, in particular reversing vehicles and restrict pedestrian movements around vehicles.”
For further guidance on Vehicles at Work, visit our Knowledge Base