HGV driver killed by runaway vehicle
A road haulage company based in Essex has been fined after an employee was fatally crushed by a runaway heavy goods vehicle (HGV).
The employee was coupling a HGV tractor unit to a trailer on 20 October 2015 when the vehicle started to roll forward out of control.
He attempted to climb into the lorry’s cab to apply the brakes but was crushed between his vehicle and another, Southend Magistrates’ Court was told.
He sustained serious injuries and died that day.
The HSE discovered that a culture whereby the company’s HGV drivers were not using the brakes on the trailers and instead relied on the tractor brakes to prevent the whole vehicle from moving had developed.
It said the company had not implemented safe systems of work or monitoring arrangements to ensure workers were safely carrying out coupling and uncoupling procedures in line with industry guidance.
One week after the employee’s death, the company retrained all drivers and introduced three-month refresher training, according to a local Essex newspaper.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act. It has been fined £170 000 and must pay £6268 costs.
Contractor receives suspended prison sentence after worker seriously injured
A sole trader from London has been given a six month prison sentence suspended for eighteen months after an employee fell from height.
On 11 November 2016, the contractor was undertaking a refurbishment project. A worker fell through a hole in the ground floor measuring 1.5 metres by 3 metres which was unprotected. They fell into a basement and suffered head injuries.
An investigation by the HSE discovered failures in health and safety management had led to a number of fall from height issues on site, including a lack of sufficient edge protection to prevent workers from falling through the opening in the floor.
James Gibson of Brent Street, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was given a six month prison sentence suspended for eighteen months and ordered to pay costs of £8,442.
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Matt Raine said: “Falls from height remain one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries. Had the employer in this case, James Gibson, implemented adequate control measures to protect the health and safety of his workers, this incident could have been prevented.”
Hiring a mobile elevating work platform
All equipment supplied in the UK must meet requirements of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 (as amended). These duties fall to the hire company, i.e. it must ensure it is physically safe to use, within its designed limitations. It must also provide instructions on how to use and maintain the equipment safely. In most cases the party hiring the MEWP takes on the legal responsibility for the equipment’s condition from the day it arrives on site.
Look for evidence that the hire company has completed a pre-delivery inspection and that the MEWP has instructions.
Routine servicing and repair work will usually be carried out by the hire company, whilst responsibility for regular tasks, such as topping up lubricants, may rest with you.
Check the terms and conditions to ensure you know who does what.
MEWPs require a thorough examination, usually six monthly, to comply with the Lifting Operation and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER).
You must check that the MEWP has a LOLER certificate that is within date. If it is due for an update, you must ensure that the thorough examination is carried out on time.