Faulty wiring and handbrake led to Watford binman’s death

The death of a binman who was dragged under the wheels of his refuse collection vehicle and killed three years ago was the result of a faulty handbrake and wiring, an inquest has learned.

Faulty wiring and handbrake led to Watford binman’s death
Back in October 2014, refuse worker Peter Coleman, 54, from Dunstable, and who was working for Luton-based waste management firm F&R Cawleys Ltd, was dragged under his refuse lorry as he tried to stop it from rolling away at Woodside Leisure Park in Watford.

Although he was alive and conscious when he was reached by paramedics, he later died in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest, having sustained pelvic trauma and bleeding on the brain during the incident.

A coroner found last week (5 October) that Coleman’s lorry had been left in gear when he left the vehicle, and the jury inquest at the Old Courthouse in Hatfield heard how the truck began moving forward on its own as Coleman got out of the lorry to load two bins after reversing into a service area at 6am on 11 October 2014.

He subsequently became trapped under the vehicle’s rear axle and was dragged under.

Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan found that Coleman’s death was brought about by the fact that the lorry had been left in gear, the handbrake was defective and its wiring system had been incorrectly modified.

Coleman had more than 20 years experience as a binman before taking on the job at F&R Cawley Ltd. The firm described his death as a ‘very sad incident’ and a spokesperson conveyed the sympathies of all at the company to Coleman’s surviving family.

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