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Waste firm Veolia fined £200,000 after cleaner's death in East Peckham

Maidstone Crown Court
Maidstone Crown Court

A waste management company convicted of health and safety offences over the death of a young road cleaner has been fined £225,000.

Veolia Environmental Services UK Ltd will also have to pay agreed costs of £95,239.

Maidstone Crown Court heard victim Damian Griffiths was picking up litter on a grass verge on a dual carriageway on the A228 at Hale Street, East Peckham, when the tragedy happened.

The agency worker, of Northview, Swanley, and Barry Seymour went to clean up the area on the morning of March 2 2007 in a Ford transit van.

Mr Griffiths, 20, collected litter on foot, while Mr Seymour followed in the van on the verge about six feet behind.

As the van reached a post, Mr Seymour was forced to drive onto the carriageway. Because his flashing lights were on, he was unable to indicate his intention to do so.

The van was struck from behind by a Volvo lorry and ended up at the foot of a steep bank by the side of the carriageway.

The victim was hit by the Ford Transit as it careered down the bank. He died from his injuries.

Deanna Heer, prosecuting, said Veolia was a large national corporation, which employed 12,500 people and had a turnover of £1.3 billion in 2008.

The company was contracted by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council.

Veolia, of Islington, North London, denied failing to ensure the health and safety and welfare of employees and exposing another to the risk of health and safety.

The convictions have been appealed and a decision is pending.

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