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A council has been fined £80,000 for waste collection safety failures, after a father-of-three died when he was struck by a bin lorry.

The employee passed away after being hit by the rear and underside of a bin lorry that was reversing. He was working as a loader operative for the council at the time of the incident.

It is accepted the Council’s failings did not lead to the death of the employee. The incident did however, prompt a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation. The workplace regulator found that the council failed to effectively manage the risks presented by moving refuse vehicles, provide training and instruction for agency workers on safe procedures for reversing and the use of hand signals. The local authority also failed to effectively monitor its employees working practices.

The employees wife said: “I would like to reiterate the pain this has caused me and my boys. My boys’ dad will never be brought back from this tragic incident. Me and my sons shall never get over this. “I hope more than anything that no other family ever has to go through this heartbreak, to have a knock on the door to say their partner who is hard at work and been run over. For me now, as my 11-year-old and nine-year-old bring up fond memories of their dad and family moments, I am having the difficult subject of my youngest son, who is five, asking about his dad, and why he is in the sky.”

The cuncil pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The local authority was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £61,065 in costs at Chelmsford Crown Court on 16 June 2023.

HSE inspector Saffron Turnell said: “Several health and safety management failings were identified by this public organisation which led to inconsistent systems of work and provision of training in the high-risk activity of waste collection. Local authorities and companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to hold to account those that fall below the required standards.”

Source – HSE

HSCS Scotland Promoting a Healthier Workplace Through Safety

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