Waste firm fined after worker crushed to death

Waste firm SITA have been fined after a worker was crushed to death in an accident at a landfill site.

The firm was taken to court this week following the death of Gary Carter, 32, at the Cranford landfill site in Northamptonshire on 4 January 2007.

The company, registered office at Grenfell Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, pleaded guilty to breaking health and safety rules at Northampton Crown Court.

The firm was fined £210,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £38,000, after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted them over the death.

Mr Carter, of Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, had arrived at the site to empty his refuse lorry, but due to bad weather needed help emptying the truck.

After being towed to the tipping area by a bulldozer, Mr Carter started to empty the waste.

But, due to the wet weather his lorry became bogged down and to shed the rest of the load he had to move it forward.

The driver of the compactor, which was spreading the rubbish behind his lorry, radioed to him to say he would drive up behind Mr Carter's lorry and push it forward with his own vehicle.

At the same time the bulldozer reversed up to the front of Mr Carter's lorry to give him a tow.

Both tried to help Mr Carter move, but without communicating with each other.

When the compactor started to push the lorry forward, Mr Carter was attaching a tow rope from the bulldozer to the front of his lorry which meant he was crushed between his lorry and back of the bulldozer, he died at the scene.

After the hearing HSE inspector, Roy Bush, said: "Every company has a legal responsibility to take care of people working on their site in whatever circumstances they are asked to operate.
"Assessing risks, mitigating them wherever possible or stopping work as appropriate is the least people should expect from companies.

"Employers need to ensure their staff understand their roles and responsibilities in making sure sites like this operate to clear site safety rules.

"In this case, the prosecution shows that this has not happened and Mr Carter's family have lost him as a result."

Sita told the court it has since introduced new working methods.

Luke Walsh




Waste & resource management
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