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HSE inspector accused over Glasgow bin lorry crash decision

Published 18/08/2015

Six people died after a bin lorry veered out of control and mounted a pavement on Queen Street
Six people died after a bin lorry veered out of control and mounted a pavement on Queen Street

A safety inspector has been challenged over the investigation into the Glasgow bin lorry crash that left six people dead.

Barry Baker, from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), denied a suggestion that the early decision to treat the crash as a road traffic accident was "hasty and ill-advised" at the inquiry into the December 22 tragedy.

Mr Baker, 50, was giving evidence for a second day at the inquiry, which has heard that truck driver Harry Clarke had a history of dizzy spells and fainting which he had not disclosed to the DVLA or on job application forms.

The inquiry was told a meeting was held the day after the crash with representatives from the police, the Crown Office, the HSE and others, and it was agreed that the incident was a road traffic incident and would be investigated by police.

Mark Stewart QC, acting for the family of three of the victims, suggested that Mr Clarke's medical records were not obtained until January 7.

He said: "So, this incident was written off within 30 hours by a group who convened without the benefit of what could have been significant information in relation to this particular driver, that could have had a bearing on the issue of contravention of the Health and Safety at Work Act?"

Mr Baker said: "I disagree with that. If there's a problem with medical fitness to drive, that's a matter for the DVLA. We would become involved if there were systematic issues."

Mr Stewart said: "The idea that this accident was categorised as a road traffic accident, it must seem that that was hasty and ill-advised?"

The HSE inspector said: "No. I disagree that it was hasty. It was clearly a road traffic accident, it was investigated by the correct regulators."

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