'Ignorance is no defence': How to avoid falling foul of duty of care rules

There is a lack of awareness surrounding duty of care laws among some waste operators and firms needing to dispose of waste. Conor McGlone asks what should be done to ensure companies stay on the right side of the law.

The prosecution of a skip operator last month has highlighted the risks firms face if they fail to take seriously their duty of care obligations.

Robert Walker, who owned a company in Basildon, Essex, failed to check the legitimacy of a haulier who claimed to be working for a genuine haulage company. His rubbish was later found dumped at four locations around Essex and Walker was ordered to pay £25,000 in costs, despite not intentionally breaking the law. The scammer, who had used fake papers, could not be traced.

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