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Recycler’s director is sentenced for fatal telehandler strike

A waste collection and recycling company has been fined £500,000 and its director handed a six months’ custodial sentence after an employee sustained multiple injuries when he was hit by a reversing telehandler. He was struck while crossing the work yard at the company’s premises and later died in hospital. 


Brighton Magistrates’ Court was told on 12 October that United Grab Hire had no adequate pedestrian segregation measures such as walkways or crossing points in areas where pedestrians walked routinely at its Horley, East Sussex site.   

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that reversing large vehicles near to pedestrians was commonplace at the premises. 

The investigation into the incident, which took place on 7 July 2016, found that United Grab Hire had not trained the driver of the telehandler to operate the vehicle.

United Grab Hire, of Rivington Farm, Horley, pleaded guilty to breaching ss 4(1) and 17(1) of the Workplace (Health and Safety Welfare) Regulations 1992. The firm was handed a £500,000 fine and ordered to pay £5,968 in costs.

Director Mark Howard, also of Rivington Farm, pleaded guilty to breaching s 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act. He was sentenced to a six months’ custodial sentence, suspended for two years.


Nic Warburton is acting editor, IOSH Magazine

 Nick Warburton was previously acting editor of IOSH Magazine. Before that he was editor of SHP and he has also worked on Local Authority Waste and Recycling and Environmental Health Practitioner

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