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Waste company fined after worker crushed by vehicle

A Hampshire waste company has been ordered to pay £31,000 in fines and costs after a worker was seriously injured when crushed by a digger.

Martin Jewell, a skip driver from Gosport, sustained life-changing injuries, including a double fracture to his right shin bone and broken bones in both feet, in the incident at Solent Waste Services in Eastleigh on 30 October 2012.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the company after an investigation found more could have been done to segregate the movement of pedestrians and vehicles.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that Jewell had returned to the site after completing a job to see if any more work was required.

He walked to a storage unit and asked a digger driver to pull out another skip to fill before turning to make his way to a nearby office. However, as he walked away the digger reversed into him, knocking him over and crushing his legs.

HSE found there was nothing in place at the yard to ensure vehicles and workers were kept apart, such as designated walkways or zones.

It was also found that pedestrians routinely walked and stood in areas where vehicles were circulating.

Solent Waste Services was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £19,752 in costs after pleading guilty to health and safety breaches.

HSE Inspector Zahir Agha said: “Incidents of this kind, where vehicles strike workers because movements are not properly controlled, occur all too often in the waste sector and result in a number of deaths and serious injuries every year.

“Work around moving vehicles has to be properly planned, in line with guidance that is readily available through HSE and others.

“Solent Waste Services could and should have done more, and as a result Jewell has been left with debilitating injuries from which he may never fully recover.”

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