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Worker run over by digger after firm's failure to separate staff and vehicles

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A Hampshire waste company that failed to properly segregate workers and vehicles has been prosecuted after a member of staff was struck and run over by a reversing digger.


Martin Jewell, 49, from Gosport, suffered a double fracture to his right shin bone and broken bones in both feet in the incident at the Eastleigh plant of Solent Waste Services’s on 30 October 2012.

An investigation by HSE found there was nothing in place at the yard to ensure vehicles and workers were kept apart, such as designated walkways or zones.

The company was yesterday fined £12,000 and ordered it to pay £19,752 in costs after it pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

“Solent Waste Services could and should have done more, and as a result Mr Jewell has been left with debilitating injuries from which he may never fully recover,” said HSE inspector Zahir Agha after the hearing.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told that Mr Jewell, a skip driver, had returned to the site after completing a job to see if any more work was required.

He walked to a storage unit and asked a digger driver to pull out another skip to fill before turning to make his way to a nearby office. However, as he walked away the digger reversed into him, knocking him over and crushing his legs.

The court was told that pedestrians routinely walked and stood in areas where vehicles were circulating.

“Incidents of this kind, where vehicles strike workers because movements are not properly controlled, occur all too often in the waste sector and result in a number of deaths and serious injuries every year,” Agha added.

“Work around moving vehicles has to be properly planned, in line with guidance that is readily available through HSE and others.”

 

 

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