London-based World’s End Waste (Investments) Ltd pleaded guilty to a charge that they had failed to ensure the safety of their employees as far as reasonably practicable.

Sentencing took place at the Old Bailey on Friday, May 27.

The charge followed the death of 32-year-old tipper truck driver Sam Boothman on June 1 last year.

Mr Boothman was working for the company at a waste transfer site in Pensbury Place, Wandsworth when the accident occurred.

He had just unloaded a consignment of waste at a transfer shed and moved his truck to another part of the site to secure the tailgate when he was hit from behind by the bucket of a shovel truck driven by another employee and crushed, dying from multiple injuries shortly afterwards.

Margaret Pretty, principal inspector for the Health and Safety Executive said: “Sam Boothman’s family have lost a father, a husband and a son and our sympathies are with them at this very sad time.

“The case shows everyone in the waste transfer industry the importance of planning for workplace transport and having safe systems of work in place.

“A one-way traffic system, the use of a banksman and designated pedestrian walkways, all of which were subsequently introduced by the company, may have prevented this fatality.”

Judge Focke QC, presiding, said: “It is a very dangerous practice to drive a shovel truck with the bucket raised a few feet off the ground so the driver’s forward vision is obscured.

“The penalty should reflect public concern at an unnecessary loss of life.
“Companies must be deterred from operating in a slack way.”

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 companies can face unlimited fines at Crown Court for failing to ensure the safety of their employees.

World’s End Waste were fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £4.982 costs.

By Sam Bond

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