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Recycler fined after pensioner hit by RCV

A Worcestershire recycling firm has been fined £5,000 for health and safety offences after a 77-year-old woman was hit by a reversing RCV.

H&S Recycling, based in Beoley, Redditch, was prosecuted by Stratford-on-Avon District Council following the incident in June 2015.

The woman was struck by the vehicle as it reversed into a public car park at Badger Nursery, Mappleborough Green. The RCV had collected waste for recycling from the premises.

The council said it was fortunate the woman had avoided life-threatening or fatal injuries.

The case was heard at Nuneaton Magistrates Court. In addition to the £5,000 fine, the company was ordered to pay costs of £6,637 and a £20 victim surcharge.

During sentencing, chairwoman of the bench said she had taken into account the company’s finances, a “lack of co-operation with the council” and a previous conviction by the Health and Safety Executive after an employee was killed by a falling bale at the company’s premises in 2011.

In mitigation, magistrates accepted there had been a lack of communication from Badger Nurseries.

Mike Brain, the council’s community and technical services portfolio holder, said: “This was an unfortunate incident which could easily have been avoided by the company carrying out a risk assessment specific to this site. Reversing heavy vehicles is an inherently dangerous task which should be avoided where possible by arranging site layouts so that it is not required.

“However, if unavoidable, measures must be taken to reduce the risk, such as the use of reversing assistants and, in areas where members of the public may be present, ensuring heavy vehicle movements are limited to times when the public do not have access.

“Contractors working on clients’ sites and businesses employing contractors must exchange information to allow each other to operate safely.”

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