Council fined for safety failings after worker almost died while litter picking

One of Britain’s biggest councils has been fined £15,000 after a worker was struck by a car while litter picking and left with serious injuries.

Paul Rose, aged 60, was trying to cross the busy Princess Parkway, when he was hit by the vehicle and sent flying into the air.

His spent three days in intensive care after suffering a punctured lung, four broken ribs, fractures to the face and liver damage.

His injuries were so severe he has been unable to return to work following the collision, which happened on July 9th last year.

Following the crash, Mr Rose’s employer, Manchester City Council, admitted health and safety failings.

Staff complained they had not been given safety training for working next to roads and the local authority was also guilty of failing to erect safety signs to warn drivers that their litter picking team were working in the area.

The Health and Safety Executive served an Improvement Notice on the council, requiring it to review its risk assessment and control procedures.

Last Wednesday, Manchester Crown Court fined the authority £15,000 and ordered it to pay an additional £3,830 in prosecution costs. Although the Judge conceded that the “real responsibility” for the crash lay with the driver, who had been travelling at more than double the speed limit.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Emily Osborne said: “A council worker suffered serious injuries that could easily have been prevented had suitable actions to reduce risk been taken.

“Any work requiring people to be close to moving traffic needs to be properly assessed. Workers need to be protected and motorists need to be made aware that there may be people working in the road ahead.”

A Manchester City Council spokesman said: “Litter pickers maintain nearly 1,000 miles of roads across the city and this is the first time such an incident has occurred.

“However, there were lessons to learn from this sad event. We have since worked closely with the Health and Safety Executive to make sure these officers are kept as safe as possible as they go about their work, and to reduce the chance of such an accident happening again.”

 

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