January 25, 2019

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In Court

Veolia fine: £1m after reversing vehicle death

A refuse collection company has been fined £1m after a worker was run over and killed.

Canterbury Crown Court heard how, on 18 October 2013, Veolia ES (UK) Limited’s employee Mr John Head suffered fatal injuries when he was run over by a reversing refuse collection vehicle (RCV) whilst he was walking across the yard, at the Ross Depot Waste Transfer Station in Folkestone. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The HSE’s investigation found that multiple vehicles, including RCVs and articulated lorries, were manoeuvring around the yard with no specific controls.

The company failed to adequately assess the risks involved in the yard and did not implement industry recognised control measures to protect employees.

Veolia ES (UK) Limited of Pentonville Road, London was found guilty after a trial of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £1 million and ordered to pay costs of £130,000.

HSE Inspector Kevin Golding said: “This should be a reminder to all industries, but in particular, the waste industry, to appropriately assess the risks and implement widely recognised control measures to adequately control manoeuvring vehicles, in particular reversing vehicles and restrict pedestrian movements around vehicles.”

According to the latest set of annual workplace fatality figures, released by the HSE, there were 12 fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers between April 2017 and March 2018.

Waste disposal: Highest fatality at work rate of any industrial sector


A round -up of the biggest health and safety court cases from December 2018.

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