Accidental death leads to £500,000 fine for north-east operator

A waste management company has been fined £500,000 after the death of an employee struck by a JCB loading shovel.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the vehicle was being reversed in June 2015 at Sanders Plant and Waste Management’s Morpeth site when it struck site operative George Richardson, who died at the scene.

The vehicle, driven by another employee, was loading waste into both a trammel and an HGV.

An HSE investigation found a lack of pedestrian and vehicle segregation at the site, meaning pedestrians and vehicles could not circulate safely.

The company had carried out a risk assessment and identified some control measures to reduce the risks, but these had not been fully implemented and were insufficient to manage the risk of collision.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £500,000 with costs of £14,042.

HSE inspector Laura Catterall said: “There are more than 5,000 accidents involving transport in the workplace every year, and sadly, some are fatal. A properly implemented transport risk assessment should have identified sufficient measures to segregate people and vehicles and provide safe facilities.”

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