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Director and company sentenced after worker killed

12 October 2017

A Horley-based waste collection and recycling company has been fined after a worker died after being struck by a reversing telehandler.

Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 7 July 2016, the employee of United Grab Hire Ltd was struck by a reversing telehandler when crossing the work yard in Horley, Surrey. The worker sustained multiple injuries and later died in hospital.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to address the management of large vehicle movements on its site and had not carried out an on-site health and safety inspection. In addition the driver of the telehandler involved in the incident had not received any training in operating this vehicle.

United Grab Hire Ltd of Rivington Farm, Horley, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 4 (1) and 17 (1)  of the Workplace (Health and Safety Welfare) Regulations 1992. The company was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,968.42.

Director Mark Howland, also of Rivington Farm, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company director was sentenced to a six months custodial sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community service.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Russell Beckett said: “This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company and its director to take simple steps.

“Vehicle movements cause numerous serious injuries and deaths in the waste and recycling sector and in this case, were not controlled even at a basic level at this company’s site.  The company failed to have adequate pedestrian segregation measures such as walkways or crossing points in areas where pedestrians walked routinely. Reversing of large vehicles near to pedestrians was commonplace. This was a dangerous mix which led to this tragic incident involving a much-loved husband, father and grandfather losing his life.”


Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It helps Great Britain work well by applying a broad range of regulatory interventions and scientific expertise, to prevent work-related death, injury and ill-health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  1. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:
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