Liverpool Crown Court has fined a Runcorn haulage company £90,000 and ordered to pay £67,500 in prosecution costs after being found guilty of a breach of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was successful in their prosecution after an investigation revealed that a 49-year-old employee suffered fatal crush injuries when he was struck by a runaway lorry in January 2011.
The HSE told the court that the worker had been tasked with lining up trailers ready for the next working day. The court heard that the employee had not received any training on coupling, there was no written procedure of work available and there was no risk assessment for the task of connecting cabs to trailers, or for the risk of runaway vehicles. This lack of assessment had been highlighted by an external health and safety officer prior to the incident but nothing was done.
When the worker released the trailer handbrake, it began to roll. The employee ran down the side of the trailer and tried to climb into the open cab door. The vehicle struck another and crushed him between the door and cab frame.
After the case was heard, HSE Inspector Adam McMahon said: “The case highlights the need for transport companies to ensure their employees have the correct training. They should also act on advice from health and safety experts and make sure safe systems of work are in place.”
For further information on risk assessments click here.