Veolia fined £1m after RCV runs over worker

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A refuse collection company has been fined £1m after a worker was run over and killed by a reversing refuse collection vehicle (RCV).

Canterbury Crown Court heard how, on 18 October 2013, Veolia employee John Head suffered fatal injuries when he was run over as he was walking across the yard at the Ross Depot Waste Transfer Station in Folkestone. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An investigation by HSE 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 sentenced at court on 23 January for breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The firm was ordered to pay costs of £130,000 in addition to the £1 million fine.

Investigating 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.”

Veolia ES (UK) Limited was fined £350,000 in February 2018 after a workshop cleaner was struck by a reversing 17 and a half tonne dust cart.

According to HSE there were 12 fatal injuries in 2017/18 in the waste industry, which has a rate of fatal injury around 16 times greater than all the industries average.


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