Glasgow City Council admits lorry death health and safety breaches

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Scotland's largest council has admitted breaching health and safety laws after a pensioner was killed by a bin lorry.

Malcolm McCulloch, 71, died in hospital after being hit by the reversing vehicle and dragged along the ground in Glasgow city centre on 10 August 2012.

Glasgow City Council pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches as the workers in charge of the lorry had not received adequate training.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, sentence was deferred until next month.

The court was told that between March and December 2011 the council provided reversing assistant training to its refuse collection drivers.

Training advice

During the training staff were told that if reversing cannot be avoided they should use assistants.

The training gave advice about where an assistant should stand, how they should check it is safe to move and how to indicate to the driver when it is safe.

On the day of the accident, the bin lorry was being driven by agency worker Shaun Kerr.

He was accompanied from the depot at Shieldhall in Govan by labourer Paul Livingstone, a council employee.

Risk assessments in place at the time by the council record that "reversing assistant training was to be completed by all refuse collectors by August 2011".

On 10 August 2012 - a year after the deadline - neither Mr Kerr or Mr Livingstone had received relevant training about reversing.

The accident happened at about 11:15 in Holm Street, near to Wellington Street.

The court heard that because there was no room to turn the lorry at the end of Holm Street where the bins were, Mr Kerr reversed the lorry from Wellington street into Holm Street.

At this time Mr McCulloch was walking from Wellington Street turning left on the pavement of Holm Street.

CCTV camera

As he moved the lorry back, Mr Kerr did not think he needed to use the CCTV camera at the back of the vehicle until he was closer to the bins and reversed up to them.

When he reversed into Holm Street he looked at the camera and mirrors but did not see anybody.

Mr McCulloch was struck by the nearside of the lorry, towards the back. He fell underneath and was dragged some way along the road as Mr Kerr continued to reverse to the end of Holm Street.

The court heard that when the refuse workers got out of the vehicle, Mr McCulloch was spotted.

The 71-year-old was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary where he later died from chest and pelvic injuries.

The court was told it was the opinion of the crash investigator that Mr Kerr was "careless" when reversing with restricted views.

Glasgow City Council pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety legislation by failing to ensure all employees using the refuse collection vehicles had received adequate training and as a result the accident happened which caused Mr Malcolm's death.

Defence counsel Emma Toner said that changes had been put in place by the council since the incident.

She said all employees - including agency workers - are trained and records of training are kept up to date.

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