Bin mans death leads to £130,000 fine for company

A refuse company has today been fined £130,000 after a worker was killed near Aylesbury when a 1,100-litre recycling bin fell on his head.

David Ives, 56 from High Wycombe, an employee of Veolia ES (UK) Ltd (formally known as Onyx UK Ltd) was collecting refuse outside a pub in Easington, near Aylesbury when the incident happened on 5 May 2004.

Aylesbury Crown Court heard that a recycling bin fell from the bin hoist on the recycling lorry and landed on Mr Ives’ head, killing him.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Veolia ES (UK) Ltd, of Veolia House, Pentonville Road, London over the incident. Yesterday (11 February) the jury found the company guilty of breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £130,000 and ordered to pay costs of £220,000.

In the same trial, Brian Currie Milton Keynes Ltd of Norfolk House Centre, Milton Keynes, was found not guilty of breaching section 3(1) of the 1974 Act.

Dennis MacWilliam, HSE inspector, said:

“This was an extremely tragic incident which has now left Mr Ives’ widow to continue life without a loving husband. It could have been avoided if only a few simple measures had been in place.

“Employers are legally required to make sure their equipment is regularly maintained and is fit for use by their workers. If the bin hoist on the recycling lorry had been maintained this incident would never have happened.”