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Pedestrian worker killed by reversing delivery van

A textile recycler has been fined £650,000 after a worker was struck by a vehicle.

On 26 April 2016, a delivery driver had arrived at Savanna Rags International’s site in Nottinghamshire. He drove off a weighbridge and reversed towards the rear yard when he struck an employee. 

Mansfield Magistrates’ Court was told that the injured worker, who was on foot, had crossed over the weighbridge and was walking towards the smoking shelter when the accident happened. She sustained fatal injuries. 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Savanna Rags had not risk assessed vehicle movement on site and had failed to ensure pedestrians and moving vehicles were safely segregated. 

It was custom and practice for vehicles to reverse from the weighbridge, which was also used by employees to access the factory, it said.  

Savanna Rags pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act, reg 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, and reg 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations. 

It was fined and ordered to pay full costs of £3,300. 

After the hearing, HSE inspector Aaron Rashad said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the risks arising from the movement of vehicles and implement safe systems of work. This meant the company failed to put in place a number of simple safety measures including segregating vehicles and pedestrians and reducing the need for vehicles to reverse.”

 

Keeley Downey is acting deputy editor of IOSH Magazine. She is a former editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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