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Waste company fined £640k after fatal accident
26 February 2023
A WASTE company has been fined £640,000 and its director has received a suspended prison sentence following the death of an employee who was struck by a reversing vehicle.
Yamal Ameggaron Mohamed, 39, was killed at FDS Waste Services in Poole on 13 December 2018 when he was hit by a shovel loader while sorting recycling materials in the yard.
FDS Waste was convicted of corporate manslaughter on 22 December 2022 following a three-week trial at Winchester Crown Court.
Director Philip Pidgley, 58, and the company were also found guilty of failing to discharge their duty to ensure the safety of Mr Mohamed at work.
The waste firm was further convicted of failing to ensure the safety of a second worker who was injured after he became trapped in a large mechanical conveyor while investigating a blockage in June 2020. Pidgley was acquitted of that charge by the jury.
Following a joint investigation by Dorset Police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the prosecution was able to prove the company had failed to put in place sufficient working practices to safeguard its employees.
There was no physical segregation between vehicles and pedestrians of any type and no safe system excluding pedestrians from areas where vehicles were operating – and vice versa.
The management of the site was described as “lax and complacent” and had led to unsafe working practices at the company’s base.
Pidgley was today sentenced to six months' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, at Winchester Crown Court while FDS Waste Services was fined a total of £640,000 and ordered to pay £60,000 in costs.
Rosemary Ainslie, head of Special Crime at the CPS said, “Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Mr Mohamed following this avoidable tragedy.
“Companies have a duty of care to their employees and FDS Waste Services fell well short of the standards expected. A man lost his life because safe working practices were not implemented, and risks were not assessed or managed properly.
“Companies and directors need to understand their duties to take health and safety seriously, and it is only right that those responsible for tragic deaths such as this are held to account.”
Berenice Ray, HSE inspector said, “Both of these incidents, including the tragic death of an employee, could have been avoided had well-established measures been taken to ensure workers’ health and safety.
“Those in control of work must ensure that their workplace is organised in such a way that pedestrians and vehicles can circulate in a safe manner.
“They must also ensure that the power source of relevant machinery is isolated and physically ‘locked off’ whenever the guards are removed or access within the machinery is necessary.
“Those in control of work have a duty to assess the risks; devise safe methods of working and provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workforce.
“They must also adequately supervise work activities to check the effectiveness of the training provided and ensure safe systems of work are followed.
“There is clear, freely available guidance on how to manage these risks available on HSE’s website.”
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