Workplace Transport Fatality Fine

A waste recycling company is ordered to pay £250,000 in fines and £53,100 in costs for serious workplace transport safety failings that led to the death of a young worker.

Here is the press release of Britain’s Health & Safety Executive (HSE). The company pleaded guilty to breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”

It seems the 21yr old worker (working at the site for 6 months only) had been directed to clean mud off sensors on the weighbridge and, as he had not done the job before, he would work alongside a more experienced worker who would also look out for traffic. However after taking a break, he returned to work alone. A skip lorry then drove onto the weighbridge where the young worker was lying prone and chipping away at the hard mud. He picked up his tools and moved out of the way. The driver briefly got out of his cab and went into the site office, returned and drove on, unaware the young worker had returned to his work on the weighbridge. The lorry hit the young worker, and he died at the scene. The young worker had been in a total blind spot to the driver when he decided to return to his work.

Per the HSE investigation, the company had failed to:
* appreciate the risks associated with the site
* give full instructions, guidance and training to staff
* monitor and supervise staff, particularly the young worker
* devise a transport policy to segregate people from vehicles, and
* provide a system of proper maintenance for equipment like the weighbridge
* prepare a health and safety plan

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