Safety failings at a waste management firm led to the death of a worker who was run over by a JCB loading shovel, a court has been told.
St Albans Crown Court heard on Friday how 58-year-old Patrick Murphy was working for FCC Waste Services (UK) Ltd at Waterdale Waste Transfer Station near Watford where he died on 17 August 2012.
The father-of-two from Watford was a groundsman at the site and had been working there for eight years, the court was told.
He was clearing litter at the site when the vehicle struck him and he died at the scene, the court heard.
Following an investigation the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) decided to prosecute his employer as it had not properly controlled and organised the site to make sure vehicles and workers could work and get around in safety.
Refuse collection trucks regularly delivered waste and items for recycling to the site and used a yard known as “the apron” to get to the tipping hall warehouse, in which loading shovels were used, the court was told.
Another FCC worker was driving one of the shovels when it hit Mr Murphy, the court heard.
FCC Waste Services (UK) Ltd admitted breaches of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
The firm, which is based on Ground Floor West, Northampton Business Park was ordered to pay a total of £200,000 in fines and a further £65,000 in costs.
The tragic events were preventable, HSE inspector Roxanne Barker said after the conclusion of the case. She said they were caused by the company’s failure to identify the hazards in the tipping hall and to control them.
The risks of using large vehicles on waste sites are well known and they can be controlled easily, she said.
Many workers are killed or seriously hurt every year in such incidents and there is no excuse for a firm to put its workers at risk as pedestrians should be completely separated or protected from heavy vehicles and they should be operated under safe systems of work, the inspector said.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: March 18, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown