Journalist, SHP Online

October 16, 2015

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£200k fine after employee struck by 7.5 tonne vehicle

Employers have been warned about the importance of ensuring that pedestrian routes are clearly marked and physically separated from vehicle routes, following the prosecution of national recycling firm SITA UK Limited, after an incident in which an employee was struck by a 7.5 tonne telehandler. 

Preston Crown Court heard that the company failed to provide adequate segregation between pedestrians and moving vehicles at a waste transfer station in Darwen, Lancashire.

As an employee walked across an outside plastics hand sorting area, he passed behind a stationary telehandler. The telehandler began to reverse and struck the worker who was knocked to the ground and then run over by the rear wheel of the vehicle. His resulting injuries caused him to be hospitalised for two months.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting told the Court the company had identified the risks but failed to put in place suitable controls to stop people being hit by vehicles.

SITA UK Limited of Grenfell Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £200,000 with £11,998 costs.

HSE inspector Stuart Kitchingman said after the hearing: “Employers need to look carefully at their workplaces regularly to make sure that pedestrian routes are clearly marked and physically separated from vehicle routes wherever possible.

“The employee could have easily been killed and still has severe mobility problems as a result of the accident. He is unlikely to be able to work in the near future.”

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