The largest local authority in the country has been fined after a refuse worker suffered leg injuries when he was trapped against a van by a reversing bin lorry.
Allan Chevelleau was working at Birmingham City Council’s fleet and waste depot when the incident happened on March 6th this year.
Court heard how the unfortunate street cleansing officer was trapped between the door and cab of his parked vehicle, after it was struck by a bin lorry as it reversed into a neighbouring parking space.
The 41-year-old required hospital treatment for ligament injuries to his lower right leg.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the bin lorry had not reversed in accordance with the council’s safe working procedure. This required a colleague to act as a reversing assistant to help guide the bin lorry driver during reversing manoeuvres.
Indeed, CCTV evidence showed that workers were regularly reversing at the depot without following the correct procedures.
Birmingham City Council pleaded guilty to breaching The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and was fined £10,000, with £1,887 costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Karl Raw said: “Mr Chevelleau is very lucky not to have suffered more serious injuries following an incident which was entirely preventable.
“It is vital, particularly in busy depots and yards where there are regular vehicle movements, that there is a programme of supervision and monitoring of how workers adhere to safe working practices. Reversing a HGV is a recognised high risk activity. It is only good fortune that this did not result in a fatality.”