Pensioner Dies After Collision With Waste Vehicle

Glasgow City Council Fined £20,000 For Safety Failings


A 71-year-old man suffered fatal injuries after he was struck by a reversing refuse lorry.

Malcolm McCulloch was walking along Holm Street in Glasgow when the incident occurred in August 2012.

Glasgow City Council has been fined £20,000 for safety failings that led to the accident, having pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The local authority had introduced a policy of sending workers for reversing assistant training before they went out on glass collection jobs and it was designed to provide assistance to truck drivers, ensuring that it was safe to travel backwards.

However, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that two agency workers were involved in the incident that resulted in the death of Mr McCulloch and neither had undertaken the training.

Neither of the employees noticed him step off the pavement on to the road as they attempted the reversing manoeuvre and he was dragged underneath the vehicle for some distance before the driver was aware of his presence.

The HSE confirmed the safety features on the truck - including the warning beacon and siren - were all in good order, but there was a significant blind spot that was not covered by the onboard CCTV camera.

Questions have been asked about safety standards in the waste management and recycling industry, as HSE figures show that 12 workers and three members of the public were killed in accidents in 2012-13.

Statistics also confirm that 39 per cent of fatalities across the sector within the last five years have been caused by vehicles.

Following the hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court, HSE inspector Eve Macready insisted that reversing lorries pose one of the biggest risks in the refuse collection trade and there is clear guidance available to help organisations complete these tasks safely.

"Our investigation has found there was a blind spot for the driver even when using the camera, but if a reversing assistant had been used this would have prevented the incident," she commented.

"The fact that the driver and his colleague had not been trained meant they did not have the skills necessary and were not fully aware of the need to use a reversing assistant."