Logistics Firm Prosecuted after HGV Driver is Seriously Injured
The Health & Safety Executive has prosecuted a logistics firm for safety failings after a driver was injured at work.
On 19th December last year, an employee of a transport services firm, Darren Andrews, was delivering a pallet of boxes containing castor wheels via a lorry to CWT Commodities (UK) Limited.
Basildon Crown Court heard that an employee of CWT Commodities (UK) Limited was offloading the delivery from the lorry’s trailer via forklift, when the pallet fell and struck Mr Andrews as he watched the operation take place.
Mr Andrews was airlifted to hospital immediately after being struck; such were the extent of his life threatening injuries. Mr Andrews remained at Royal London Hospital for three weeks following the incident, before being transferred to Bristol Hospital where he remained for a further week.
Mr Andrews will be unable to return to work as a HGV driver and the incident has caused serious long-term effects.
The court heard how a risk assessment for the process of offloading from delivery trucks had been carried out; however the potential risks to visiting drivers had not been specifically outlined. The risk assessment did however indicate that the driver should either stand a ‘safe distance away’ or return to their cab whilst the operation takes place.
HSE Investigation & Sentencing
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that it was not unusual for visiting drivers to stand near the forklift truck or next to their cabs. HSE found that even though the risk had been identified by the assessment, it was not being implemented regularly or sufficiently.
CWT Commodities (UK) Limited, of Tilbury Docks, Tilbury, Essex, pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The firm was fined a total of £22,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,639.
Injury at Work – Expert Advice
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Source: Health & Safety Executive