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Rotherham Council and demolition firm fined £105,000 after worker death

2 Mar 10 Rotherham Council and demolition contractor Brocklebank have been fined over £100,000 after a worker was killed by a reversing truck during a road surfacing operation.

Rotherham Council and demolition contractor Brocklebank have been fined over £100,000 after a worker was killed by a reversing truck during a road surfacing operation.

Gordon Duffield, a council employee, was knocked down by an eight-wheeled tipper wagon operated by Brocklebank, as it delivered asphalt to a site on Fitzwilliam Road, Rotherham, on 4 May 2007.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay £18,350 costs in relation to the incident after pleading guilty to a section 2(1) breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Doncaster Crown Court.

Sheffield-based Brocklebank also pleaded guilty to a breach of section 3(1) of the same legislation, and was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £12,000 costs.

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After the hearing, HSE Principal Inspector John Rowe said: "Duffield’s death demonstrates all too clearly the need for the movement of workplace vehicles to be carefully managed so that employees and other pedestrians are not put at risk.

"The council had a duty to protect their employee. Yet, vehicle movements at the site were uncontrolled despite the fact that tipper wagons had to reverse the length of the site.

"No one was designated to direct the movement and unloading of the lorry. The council were also aware that the worker was partially deaf as a result of exposure to noise at work – but had made no assessment of his suitability to continue as a road worker.

He continued: "Similarly, the contractor in this case had failed to take all reasonably practicable steps to protect those at the site from the risk of being hit by a reversing vehicle. In particular, instructions for the driver to do a 360 degree check were not communicated nor was CCTV fitted to eliminate the blind spot at the rear of the vehicle."

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