Waste Firm Fined £250,000 Over Death

Expert Calls For Lessons To Be Learnt


An accident at work expert at Irwin Mitchell has called for lessons to be learnt after a Sussex-based waste company was fined £250,000 over an incident which led to the death of a member of the public.

Team Waste (Southern) Ltd has also been ordered to pay costs of £50,000 after it was found guilty of breaching safety regulations in relation to an incident in March 2007, when 61-year-old Anne Smith was hit by one of the firm’s vehicles as it reversed in Brighton city centre.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) confirmed that the driver of the vehicle had reversed without being aided by a banksman, which was directly contrary to company policy.

The vehicle also had a defective rear CCTV system,  the reversing siren was also not in operation, and Team Waste failed to ensure the necessary control measures were in place.

Commenting on the case, David Urpeth, national head of workplace injuries at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Any companies which are involved in work that can impact on the safety of the public need to ensure risks have been assessed and any potential issues are raised beforehand.

“So many of the cases we deal with highlight just why firms need to follow safety guidelines, and this tragic, avoidable work accident shows the terrible consequences of failing to ensure every necessary step is taken..

“It is vital that lessons are learnt from this and firms need to adhere to both their own safety guidance and the regulations enforced by the likes of the HSE if terrible incidents like this are to become a thing of the past.”