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Council fined after bin lorry kills pensioner

Bassetlaw District Council has been fined £25,000 after a reversing bin lorry killed a pensioner.

The lorry struck 78 year-old Derrick Barnes as he returned from shopping on his mobility scooter in Mellish Road Langold, Nottinghamshire.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told the court yesterday that the lorry only had a one-man crew, and the incident could have been prevented if a reversing assistant had been at the back of the vehicle.

The driver only became aware something was wrong when he noticed shopping spilling into the road behind him. He stopped the lorry and found Mr Baines trapped underneath. He later died in hospital after suffering multiple injuries.

The council pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 during the incident in 2008. Nottingham Crown Court fined the council £25,000 and ordered it to pay costs of £12,987.

HSE inspector David Butter said: “Very large vehicles such as this have a number of blind spots and it was impractical to expect a lone driver to reverse safely without the aid of a colleague walking behind to check the path was clear.

“These lorries are fitted with flashing lights and a reversing warning system but the council needed to take into consideration that system was not adequate and another worker should have been present and could have prevented this needless loss of life.”

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