Waste firm guilty of corporate manslaughter after man killed

A waste firm and its director have been found guilty over the death of a worker who was run over by a reversing lorry.

Yamal Mohamed was fatally injured at a site run by FDS Waste Services in Poole, Dorset, in December 2018.

Thirty-nine-year-old Yamal was working as a ‘totter’ – pulling out bigger pieces of waste by hand which might get stuck in machinery.

At the same time, heavy vehicles would be operating in the yard, pushing the waste into the shed for sorting, Winchester Crown Court was told.

On the morning of 13 December 2018, Yamal was struck by a lorry that was missing glass from one of its wing mirrors and the reversing camera was not switched on.

An air ambulance and two teams of paramedics were sent but he died at the scene.

A second incident just six months later left an employee with broken ribs and other injuries after becoming trapped in a large mechanical conveyor after he had climbed in to remove a blockage.

Investigators focused on allegations that the company had failed to put in place sufficient working practices to safeguard its employees, including failing to ensure employees were segregated from moving vehicles during waste sorting. It was also found that the company failed to provide its employees with adequate training, monitoring and supervision to prevent vehicle collisions in the yard.

The police report said that a separate investigation by the HSE found that FDS Waste Services failed to ensure that the workforce was provided with the padlocks required for locking the power source of the machinery in the ‘off’ position and did not offer adequate training for dealing with blockages and other maintenance tasks, which required access behind the machinery guards.

Following a four-week trial, the company was found guilty of a charge of corporate manslaughter. It was also convicted for two offences of failing to discharge its duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Last week, the company was ordered to pay fines totalling £640,000, as well as costs of £60,000.

Company director Philip Pidgley was also convicted of an offence of failing to discharge his duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act. He was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months.

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Steve Kilburn
Steve Kilburn
I initially trained as an industrial chemist working in a variety of manufacturing environments eventually moving into quality management which grew to encompass environmental and occupational health and safety management systems. I hold a Masters Degree in Health and Safety law and Environmental Law and a Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Waste Management and I am a Graduate Level Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). In my spare time I enjoy reading, my favourite author is Stephen King, and listening to music, generally from the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
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