Refuse Collection Company Convicted Over Death of Worker

REFUSE collection company, Veolia UK, has been convicted of a criminal safety offence after an employee was run over and killed in the workplace.

On 18 October 2013, Veolia UK employee, John Head, suffered fatal injuries when he was run over by a reversing refuse collection vehicle (RCV) as he was walking across the Ross Depot Waste Transfer Station yard in Folkestone. The 60-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation 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 was found guilty of a criminal safety offence and fined £1 million and ordered to pay costs of £130,000.

The renowned environmental solutions provider partnered with Knauf Insulation in March 2018 to open a state-of-the-art glass recycling facility in St Helens. The new facility enabled Knauf Insulation to secure its glass supply and maximise the use of recycled materials instead of virgin ones.

“Serial safety offender”
In February 2010, Veolia was fined £130,000 for a workplace death. In October of the same year, the company was designated a “serial safety offender” and was fined £225,000 after a worker was killed in a vehicle collision while collecting litter from a busy road.

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.”

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