Worker crushed to death in covered pit accident
A waste disposal company from Buckinghamshire has been fined £280,000 after one of its workers was crushed to death.
The 57-year-old man was tipping his garden waste into a covered pit at a site in Newbury on September 10th 2007 when he was killed by a motorised loading shovel bucket.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that his employer, Biffa Waste Services, failed to protect the man with the adequate safety measures, such as warning signs.
At a West Berkshire Magistrates' Court hearing, the company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1)(b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.
It also pleaded guilty to contravening Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was ordered to pay costs of £54,906.57, in addition to its six-figure fine.
"This tragic incident could have been avoided if sensible precautions and working practices had been in place to prevent the loading shovel working in such close proximity to members of the public," said Mike Wilcock, the HSE's head of operations for the south-east.
Biffa was founded as a haulage company before the second world war and moved into the industrial waste market in the 1960s.
Posted by Nicole Stevens
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