Wheelie bin death prompts changes to health and safety guidelines

Health and safety guidelines for commercial wheelie bins have been changed after a teacher who climbed into one was crushed to death, an inquest has been told.

The Waste Industry Safety and Health guidelines for wheelie bins were revised after New Zealander Scott Williams fell asleep inside a Brighton bin, which was emptied into a dustcart only hours later.

Brighton and Hove assistant deputy coroner Gilva Tisshaw revealed at last Wednesday's (March 10) inquest in Hove Crown Court that the recommended changes include compulsory locks for commercial wheelie bins and ensuring they are located away from public areas.

She highlighted the risk of climbing into wheelie bins, saying: "I think it is important that there is a heightened public awareness of the dangers that can arise from a person or persons being in one of these large bins."

Mr Williams, 35, of Dollis Hill, London, was found dead by workers two days later amongst the rubbish at a Sussex Waste Recycling site in Newhaven last July.

It emerged the maths teacher climbed into the wheelie bin after a night drinking in the city. It was then emptied into a waste lorry.

A post-mortem examination found he died from crush injuries to his chest.

These would have been caused by dustcart crushing gear used to compact rubbish.

Sheltering from heavy rain on the night could have been the reason Mr Williams climbed into the bin, the inquest heard.

David Gibbs




Waste & resource management
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