A remediation business has been fined £45,000 after a driver died while tipping spoil that would otherwise have gone to landfill.
In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Durham-based Sirius Remediation pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was also ordered to pay costs of £10,000.
Sheffield Crown Court heard that on 17 September 2013, a tipper wagon driver was fatally injured when his wagon overturned while he was tipping spoil on to a stockpile.
Ground levels were being raised on the site by reusing spoil from elsewhere, instead of this going to landfill.
Driver Alan Clements reversed up the slope of a stockpile and raised his tipper, but the truck toppled over sideways causing him to die from chest injuries.
An HSE investigation found there had been nothing to prevent plant or other vehicles getting close to high and possibly loose edges, and there was no suitable risk assessment for the safe formation of the stockpile.
HSE inspector Medani Close said: “Stockpiling should only take place under the control of a suitably qualified temporary works manager or co-ordinator because it can be a high-risk activity if not properly managed.
“Where stockpiling is unavoidable, tipping should take place on a firm, level surface, preferably at the base. Plants such as a crawler dozer, tracked/loading shovel or excavator should be used to create and maintain the stockpile, and its edges should be clearly demarcated with barriers.”