Chelmsford City Council have been fined £80,000 following the death of loader Steve Bishop in December 2017. Mr Bishop was working at the rear of the reversing vehicle when he was hit by the rear and underside of the lorry as it reversed down Osea Way in Chelmsford on December 8th 2017.
The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found that the local authority had failed to effectively manage the risks presented by moving refuse vehicles, provide training and instruction for agency workers on safe procedures for reversing and the use of hand signals.
The HSE also found that the authority failed to effectively monitor its employees’ working practices.
The council admitted to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and was fined £80,000, and ordered to pay £61,065 in costs at Chelmsford Crown Court.
Both the HSE and the court accepted that the council did not cause Mr Bishop’s death.
HSE inspector Saffron Turnell said: ‘Several health and safety management failings were identified by this public organisation which led to inconsistent systems of work and provision of training in the high-risk activity of waste collection.
‘Local authorities and companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to hold to account those that fall below the required standards.’
A spokesperson for Chelmsford City Council added: ‘During the hearing, the HSE and the court accepted that Chelmsford City Council was not responsible for the death of Mr Bishop in 2017, but the City Council has accepted that a breach of health and safety legislation occurred due to inconsistencies in the way that recycling collection services were operated at the time.
‘The council conducted a review immediately after the accident and improvements to working practices were implemented in 2018.
‘In determining the level of fine, the court did take into account and comment upon the council’s good health and safety record.’
Mr Bishop’s partner, Nickie, has said she and her sons will never be able to move on after his passing.
‘I would like to reiterate the pain this has caused me and my boys’, she said. ‘My boys’ dad will never be brought back from this tragic incident. Me and my sons shall never get over this.
‘I hope more than anything that no other family ever has to go through this heartbreak, to have a knock on the door to say their partner who is hard at work and been run over.
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