Magistrates at Nuneaton fined the company £5,000 earlier this month (6 June) with payment costs in full of £6,637, plus a Victim Surcharge (£120) – totalling £11,757.
The incident occurred as R&S Recycling Ltd’s recycling collection vehicle was reversing into a public car park.
Fortunately, the victim avoided the life-threatening or fatal injuries that would more commonly follow such an incident.
“This was a very unfortunate incident which could easily have been avoided by the company carrying-out a risk assessment specific to this site and identifying the need to use a reversing assistant or collect the waste when the nursery was closed to the public”
When giving sentencing reasons the Chairwoman referred to having considered the finances of the company, the lack of co-operation with the Council and a previous conviction following a fatality at the Defendant’s premises in 2011.
In mitigation, the Magistrates accepted that there was a lack of communication from Badger Nurseries, where the incident occurred.
Cllr Mike Brain, Community and Technical Services Portfolio says: “This was a very unfortunate incident which could easily have been avoided by the company carrying-out a risk assessment specific to this site and identifying the need to use a reversing assistant or collect the waste when the nursery was closed to the public.
“Reversing heavy vehicles is an inherently dangerous task which should be avoided where possible by arranging site layouts so that it’s not required. However, where it’s unavoidable measures must be taken to reduce the risk, such as the use of reversing assistants and, in areas where members of the public may be present, ensuring heavy vehicle movements are limited to times when the public don’t have access.
“Contractors working on client’s sites and businesses employing contractors must exchange information to allow each other to operate safely. Businesses are also advised to check on the health and safety arrangements of contractors they employ and to make sure they have the right skills and knowledge to carry out the work safely. Comprehensive guidance is available on the HSE website.
“I hope this prosecution sends a clear message that the District Council will take action in order to protect and safe guard the public.”