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Waste company fined after fatal accident

05 December 2023

A WASTE company has been fined over £250,000 after a member of the public was run over by one of its vehicles and died.

The woman was collecting wood from Martins of York’s yard on Osbaldwick Lane, York, when she was hit by a reversing skip wagon on 29 January 2020. She later died from her injuries.

The woman had regularly attended the site with another woman to collect wood.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident identified that Martins of York had failed to put in place appropriate measures to control access into the main yard area. This allowed unrestricted access to the site so visitors, including members of the public, were exposed to risks from moving vehicles. Martins of York employees working as hand pickers within the yard were also put at risk of being struck by moving vehicles within the area.

Martins of York Limited, of Park Court, Riccall Road, Escrick, York, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £268,000 and ordered to pay £10,130.32 in costs at York Magistrates’ Court on 27 October 2023.

HSE inspector Darian Dundas said, “Measures should have been introduced to prevent members of the public from being able to enter the yard without authorisation, whilst also ensuring that workers present within the yard were not put at risk from vehicles moving in and around where they were working.

“This incident could so easily have been avoided by carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

“It is hoped that this will remind the waste industry of the need to ensure that workplace transport is appropriately considered, with control measures introduced to ensure the appropriate separation of vehicles and pedestrians.”

This HSE prosecution was supported by HSE enforcement lawyer Jayne Wilson.