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FCC Environment fined £200,000 over worker's death

FCC Environment has been fined £265,000 following the death of an employee at a waste transfer station in 2012.

Patrick Murphy, 58, who had been with the firm for eight years, was run over by a loading shovel as he was clearing litter at the company’s Waterdale facility in Watford.

FCC admitted one breach of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and one of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999. It was fined £200,000 with an additional £65,000 in costs at St Albans Crown Court.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Roxanne Barker said: “Mr Murphy lost his life in what was an entirely preventable tragedy, caused by FCC’s failure to fully recognise and control the hazards arising from activities in and around the tipping hall at its waste transfer station.

“There are significant risks associated with operating large construction-type vehicles on waste sites. These risks are well known and easily controlled using reasonably practicable precautions.”

A spokesman for FCC offered condolences to family and friends, and said the company had co-operated fully with the authorities and reviewed and revised working arrangements.

“The safety of all those on our sites is paramount. Despite having established health and safety procedures and full training in place at the time of the accident, they were not acted upon in this instance.

“In considering mitigation, the court accepted that there was no failure to heed warnings, there was co-operation with authorities beyond that anticipated, there was a good health and safety record and there was a prompt guilty plea.

“The judge commented that there were genuine efforts in respect of a safe system of work, and that he was particularly impressed with the steps taken and the company’s efforts in exploring new safety technology with manufacturers with particular focus on workplace transport.”

  • Updated to correct the regulations under which the case was brought.

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