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Council fined after waste collection fatality

21 June 2023

CHELMSFORD CITY Council has been fined £80,000 for waste collection safety failures, after a father-of-three died when he was struck by a bin lorry.

Steve Bishop, 37, passed away after being hit by the rear and underside of a bin lorry that was reversing down Osea Way, Chelmsford, on 8 December 2017.

Steve, who lived in Chelmsford, was working as a loader operative for Chelmsford City Council at the time of the incident.

Nickie Bishop, Steve’s partner, says her family will never get over his passing.

It is accepted the Council’s failings did not lead to the death of Mr Bishop. The incident did however, prompt a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation. The workplace regulator found that Chelmsford City Council 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 local authority also failed to effectively monitor its employees working practices.

Chelmsford City Council pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The local authority was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £61,065 in costs at Chelmsford Crown Court on 16 June 2023.

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.”

This prosecution was supported by HSE enforcement lawyer Rebecca Schwartz.