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    NATIONAL WASTE COMPANY PROSECUTED OVER ROAD DEATH

    Firm fined £1/4m after roadside worker struck by passing vehicle on busy road

    Veolia ES (UK) Ltd has been fined £225k and ordered to pay almost £100k in prosecution costs after a workman died during a vehicle collision during litter picking operations on a busy A road. The prosecution follows an incident on 2 March 2007 in East Peckham, Kent.

    Damian Griffiths, 20, an agency worker for Veolia, was litter-picking on a grass verge of the A228 with a colleague who was driving a caged vehicle used to collect the litter.

    A large goods lorry travelling in the same direction collided with the caged vehicle thereby shunting it into Mr Griffiths who died at the scene.

    Safe systems required for roadside jobs

    Veolia ES (UK) Ltd, of Pentonville Road, London, was found guilty of breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, at Maidstone Crown Court, on the 11 August 2010. It was also ordered to pay costs of £95,239.

    Following sentencing, HSE Inspector Caroline Penwill, said:

    “Veolia failed to ensure Mr Griffiths’ work activity was safe and properly planned. As a result of its failure a man has died. This has had devastating consequences for Damian Griffiths’ family.

    Litter-picking near busy roads can be a high-risk activity if not properly planned. Veolia was responsible for managing these works, but in this case did not properly protect the roadside crew from oncoming traffic.

    Other road users were also put at risk. This is unacceptable. Those responsible for managing roadside jobs must ensure that safe systems of work are in place, and measures are taken to safeguard workers and members of the public.”

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