A national bus company and a commercial cleaning firm have been fined following the death of a “much-loved young man” at a depot in Hemel Hempstead.
Albin Trstena, from Tottenham, was employed by Cordant Cleaning Limited when he was struck by a reversing bus driven by a colleague on 5 November 2019 at Arriva’s Hemel Hempstead bus depot. The 25-year-old was working in the yard when the incident occurred, resulting in fatal injuries.
According to legal requirements, individuals near routes frequented by vehicles must be safeguarded. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines on segregating pedestrians and vehicles in the workplace outline clear steps that those responsible should take.
Albin’s sister, Albina, expressed the devastation the family felt in a statement read at St Albans Magistrates’ Court. She described Albin as a vibrant presence at home, always willing to help not just the family but also others in need.
The HSE investigation revealed that Arriva failed to adequately assess the risk of vehicle-pedestrian conflicts. Both Arriva and Cordant Cleaning Limited, subsequently known as C.L.C Realisations Limited, were found to have neglected to implement an effective system of work to manage this risk. Additionally, insufficient measures were in place to protect pedestrians from moving vehicles within the depot, and the utilization of walkways within the yard’s perimeter was not ensured.
C.L.C Realisations Limited, based in Wellington Street, Leeds (currently in administration), offered no plea but was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined a nominal £1,000.
Arriva Kent Thameside Limited, located at Doxford International Business Park, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. They were fined £32,000 and ordered to pay costs of £22,392.
HSE inspector Roxanne Barker commented, “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.”