Worker’s Death at Watford Firm Avoidable Say Pictons

The tragic death of a father of two at a Watford waste management plant where he worked was considered a ‘preventable tragedy’ according to the Health & Safety Executive.

FCC Waste Services (UK) Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive HSE) at St Albans Crown Court last week (13 March) after an investigation found the company failed to control the workplace to ensure that workers and vehicles could operate safely.

It was ordered to pay £265,000 for safety failings after Patrick Murphy was run over and killed at its waste transfer site in Watford. Mr Murphy was an experienced groundsman who had been at the site for eight years before he was struck by a JCB loading shovel on 17 August 2012. He tragically died at the scene.

FCC Waste Services, which is based on Northampton Business Park, pleaded guilty to breaching the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999. It was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £65,000.

Deborah Saini, a Personal Injury specialist at leading regional law firm Pictons and a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers says “By FCC Waste Services breaching health and safety law and requirements poor Mr Murphy has lost his life.

“The aftermath is likely to be long reaching – he is a father of two and may have been the family’s sole breadwinner. The great loss to the family is not just an emotional one but also a financial one. Whilst it may sound inappropriate to consider that aspect of the tragedy, as a personal injury lawyer I would have to consider these effects and in this case I would absolutely ensure that the family receives a substantial settlement from the company concerned to reflect their terrible loss.

“While it will be hard for My Murphy’s family to come to terms with their loss, in a case like this if they get good legal advice it can take away the added burden of future financial security so that they can grieve in private whilst the liability and financial aspects of this case are sorted out on their behalf.

“Sadly, accidents on work sites and construction sites are all too common and often fatal yet they are usually completely avoidable, as the HSE has stated in this particular tragic case. Also organisations like the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers have been instrumental in bringing about changes in health and safety law through working with the HSE to improve working conditions for people with the aim of avoiding accidents.”