Firm fined £12,000 after Gosport man’s legs are crushed

Solent Waste Services in Eastleigh
Solent Waste Services in Eastleigh

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A WASTE firm has been fined for serious safety failings after a worker was run over by a digger.

Skip driver Martin Jewell, suffered life-changing injuries in the incident, which happened at Solent Waste Services Ltd.

The 49-year-old, from Gosport, received a double fracture to his right shin bone and suffered broken bones in both feet as a result of his ordeal.

Now the firm has been fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £19,752 in court costs after admitting breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London heard that Mr Jewell had returned to the firm’s yard in Quay Lane, Gosport, after finishing a job to check whether any more work needed to be done.

He walked over to a storage unit and asked a digger driver to pull out another skip to be filled.

Mr Jewell then turned to make his way to a nearby office.

As he walked away the digger reversed into him, knocking him over and crushing his legs on October 30 2012.

The Health & Safety Executive, which brought the prosecution against Solent Waste Services Ltd, launched an investigation into the incident.

It found there were no measures in place at the yard to ensure that vehicles and workers were kept apart, such as designated walkways or zones.

The court heard pedestrians routinely walked and stood in areas where vehicles were circulating at Solent Waste Services Ltd.

HSE inspector Zahir Agha, speaking after the court hearing, 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 Mr Jewell has been left with debilitating injuries from which he may never fully recover.’

After the case, Maria Spicer, office manager for Solent Waste Services reiterated the judge’s statement that causation of the accident was a mixture of factors.

She added: ‘The fact that such an experienced and well-trained man as Mr Jewell could be involved in an accident like this demonstrates the importance of everyone taking on the safety message at work regardless of what job they did and everybody at the company wishes Mr Jewell a speedy and full recovery.’