Veolia litter picker fatally run down

Mon 11 Oct, 2010

5 October 2010 | HSE

National waste and recycling company Veolia ES (UK) Ltd has been fined £225,000 after a worker was killed in a vehicle collision while collecting litter from a busy road.

The prosecution follows an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an incident on 2 March 2007 in East Peckham, Kent.

Damian Griffiths, 20, an agency worker for Veolia, was litter-picking on a grass verge of the A228 with a colleague, who was driving a caged vehicle, used to collect the litter, alongside him.

A large goods lorry travelling in the same direction collided with the caged vehicle, shunting it into Mr Griffiths. The LGV driver escaped serious injury but Mr Griffiths died at the scene.

Veolia ES (UK) Ltd, of Pentonville Road, London, was found guilty of breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, at Maidstone Crown Court, on the 11 August 2010. It was also ordered to pay costs of £95,239.

Following sentencing, HSE Inspector Caroline Penwill, said:

"Veolia failed to ensure Mr Griffiths' work activity was safe and properly planned. As a result of its failure a man has died. This has had devastating consequences for Damian Griffiths' family.

"Litter-picking near busy roads can be a high-risk activity if not properly planned. Veolia was responsible for managing these works, but in this case did not properly protect the roadside crew from oncoming traffic.

"Other road users were also put at risk. This is unacceptable. Those responsible for managing roadside jobs must ensure that safe systems of work are in place, and measures are taken to safeguard workers and members of the public."

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