Waste management company FCC Waste Services (UK) Ltd have been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £65,000 for safety breaches after a worker was killed when a vehicle struck him at a Watford waste transfer station. The victim of this fatal accident at work, Mr Murphy, had worked at the site since 2004 as a groundsman. He died at the scene after being hit and run over by a JCB loading shovel whilst clearing litter at the company’s Waterdale Waste Transfer Station in August 2012.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed that the company had failed to control the site to ensure that vehicles and pedestrians could safely operate in tandem. St Albans Crown Court heard that the site dealt with recycling and household waste which was delivered via refuse collection vehicles. The vehicles would enter and be driven across the yard to a warehouse. Mr Murphy was killed whilst litter-picking by one of the two loading shovels on site, machinery which was intended to move the waste around.
HSE Inspector Roxanne Barker commented after the case:
“Mr Murphy lost his life in what was an entirely preventable tragedy caused by FCC Waste Services (UK) Ltd’s failure to fully recognise and control the hazards arising from activities in and around the tipping hall at its waste transfer station.
“There are significant risks associated with operating large construction type vehicles on waste sites, particularly when, as in this case, the vehicles have restricted visibility. These risks are well known and easily controlled using reasonably practicable precautions.
“Every year many people are killed or seriously injured in incidents involving workplace transport, and there is no excuse for companies that neglect this risk. Pedestrians, whether they are employees or not, should be kept separate from these types of vehicles through physical barriers or safe systems of work that are clear and well supervised.”