Waste Firm Fined Over Lorry Death

Industrial Accident

30.09.2009

A recycling company has been made to pay £105,000 after a worker was killed by a skip lorry.

Swindon Crown Court ruled that Shanley and Sons, from Trowbridge in Wiltshire, breached two safety rules in running its site, and ordered it to pay an £80,000 fine and costs of £25,000.

The victim, 62-year-old Bert Reeves, was working in a lorry's blind spot when it reversed over him in June 2007. He died that day in hospital.

Prosecutors from the Health and Safety Executive, who had brought the case, told the court the site was chaotic, congested, and had a lack of communication. They added that dangerous working practices were commonplace.

A guilty plea had been entered at an earlier hearing to a breach of section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act - for failing to have a safety management system in place. Shanley and Sons was also fined for a breaching regulation 17 of the workplace (health, safety and welfare) regulations (1992) for not segregating pedestrians and vehicles.

HSE inspector Liam Osborne said large vehicles were always a risk to pedestrians, adding: "This was a truly horrific case of a man killed doing his work in a needless and entirely preventable incident.

"While waste management sites in general have started to show signs of improvement in the last few years they are still a long way behind the rest of the industry when it comes to preventable incidents."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “I welcome the fine imposed following this fatal accident at work.

“Sadly, the construction industry is the industrial sector where a worker is most likely to lose his life following a work accident.

“As such, I would urge employers to redouble their efforts to provide a safe place and a safe system of work for their employees."