Viridor To Be Prosecuted Over Skip Lorry Death

Viridor is set to be prosecuted over the death of man who was run over by his own skip lorry at Derriford Hospital, in Plymouth, 2015.

According to reports by the Plymouth Herland, the Health and Safety Executive is bringing four charges against Viridor, following the death of Mr Lee Jane, 57, who was tragically pulled under his unmanned skip lorry as it rolled down a hill.

The charges relate to systems of working, training and risk assessments, and a preliminary hearing is due to take place at Plymouth Magistrates Court on Wednesday 7 June.

Commenting on the case, a spokesman for Viridor, said: “The death of our colleague Lee Jane in June 2015 was a tragedy and our thoughts continue to be with his family and friends at their devastating loss.

Viridor – “Since the incident we have been co-operating fully with the relevant authorities and continue to do so. We take our health and safety responsibilities very seriously.”

“Since the incident we have been co-operating fully with the relevant authorities and continue to do so. We take our health and safety responsibilities very seriously.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

The tragedy occurred after Mr Jane had tried to stop his skip lorry from smashing into the side of Derriford Hospital in Plymouth when he was pulled under the wheel, an inquest heard.

Mr Jane, a refuse lorry driver from Plymouth, was seen running after the rolling vehicle shortly before it hit the wall of a building housing the hospital radio team.

A post mortem concluded the cause of death was multiple internal injuries caused by the skip lorry driver being “dragged under the wheels of the vehicle.”

The inquest heard that Mr Jane had failed to apply the manual parking brakes on his vehicle, causing it to roll down the hill.

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  1. This smacks of HSE covering its back by rushing in to lay charges against whoever they think can be blamed for this tragedy. Anybody who has taken an HGV Driving rest knows that knowledge of the parking brake (and when it should be applied) is a prerequisite, so why should employers then have to train their drivers along the lines of ‘every time you step out of the cab you must apply the parking brake’?
    If the parking brake was working properly (as the results of the Inquest suggests) then why prosecute?
    Or is Viridor supposed to include a training session on ‘what to do if you haven’t applied the parking brake and then left the cab’? It’s hard enough for companies to keep tabs on HSW legislation without HSE having the luxury of entering the scene after the fact and instituting proceedings.

    • John, just to make the point that there isn’t enough information in this article to jump to any conclusions about that and it’s not appreciated. If, as is mentioned in the article, the charges relate to systems of working, training and risk assessments and there is to be a preliminary hearing, we would be advised to wait for the facts to come out. After all, if there own duty of care towards this tragic incident is proven, from your opinion, what better way to be completely exonerated than in court.

  2. This incident should be a good enough reason to employ an accredited experienced driver trainer/assessor. The role of the driver trainer/assessor would be to highlight, identify and advise drivers on their responsibilities and to remind all drivers of the risks and dangers they face when in charge of vehicles. We all have a responsibility to ourselves, our colleagues, those close to us and the public. You can never have too many reminders on doing things the correct way

    Mark William
    Driver trainer/assessor

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