Local authority fined after worker’s leg crushed by refuse vehicle

Pendle Borough Council has been fined after a worker’s leg was crushed by a refuse collection vehicle.

Burnley Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 30 October 2015, Dominic Allen, a labourer with Pendle Borough Council, was struck by a large refuse vehicle whilst at work in Nelson, Lancashire. At the time of the incident, three refuse vehicles were in the immediate vicinity. Mr Allen suffered severe crush injuries which resulted in surgery to remove his lower right leg.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the Council had neglected to properly identify the well-known hazards posed by refuse collection operations. Consequently, the council had failed to devise safe working methods and provide the necessary information and training to their workers to prevent harm arising.

Pendle Borough Council of Market Square Nelson, Lancashire pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc act 1974. Total fines of £40,000 were imposed with costs of £14,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Leona Cameron said: “Pendle Borough Council did not do enough to protect people from the dangers presented by refuse collection vehicles. If the risks had been properly identified and a suitable system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life-changing injuries sustained by Mr Allen could have been prevented.

“HSE has worked closely with the Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum (WISH) which has produced several guidance booklets specific to this industry.”

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