Cleaning and transport companies fined after man killed by reversing bus at Hemel depot

“His presence at home was so alive”
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Two companies have been fined for their roles in the death in Hemel Hempstead which has been labelled ‘avoidable’ by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

An investigation by the Government agency revealed that the incident where a cleaner was killed by a reversing bus at the Hemel depot could have been avoided.

Albin Trstena, from Tottenham, was working for Cordant Cleaning Limited, when he was hit by a bus that was being driven by a colleague on 5 November 2019.

The case was heard at St Albans Magistrates CourtThe case was heard at St Albans Magistrates Court
The case was heard at St Albans Magistrates Court

The 25-year-old had been working in the yard of Arriva’s Hemel Hempstead bus depot when the vehicle was reversed out of the wash down area. He sustained fatal injuries.

The HSE found that Arriva, which runs the depot, failed to properly assess the risk of vehicle-pedestrian conflict. And that Cordant Cleaning Limited, subsequently known as C.L.C Realisations Limited, failed to implement a suitable system of work to protect staff.

HSE also states that there insufficient measures in place to protect pedestrians from vehicles being moved around the depot in Hemel Hempstead. And that more could have been done to ensure that walkways within the perimeter of the yard were being utilised.

C.L.C Realisations Limited of Wellington Street, Leeds, a company now in administration, was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and fined a nominal £1,000.

Arriva Kent Thameside Limited of Doxford International Business Park, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £32,000 and ordered to pay costs of £22,392.

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HSE adds that by law people working near a route where vehicles pass must be kept safe. Its guidelines show how businesses should separate pedestrians and vehicles in such workplaces.

In a statement read at St Albans Magistrates’ Court, Albin’s sister Albina said how his death had been "devastating” for their family.

“When we received the news Albin had died, we were left devastated and our whole world came crashing down around us,” she said.

“His presence at home was so alive.

“Albin would always do lots for the family, but not just for the family, he gave of himself and would always help other people where he could.

“He was a brother and son to be proud of.”

HSE inspector Roxanne Barker added: “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a much loved young man.

“There was a failure to undertake safety measures to segregate vehicles and pedestrians.

“They also failed to properly consider who was responsible for determining and implementing suitable measures to ensure safe working practices when contracting out some of the activities performed within a shared workplace.”