Manufacturing company failed to carry out risk assessment or provide control measures to prevent accident… A manufacturing company has been fined after an employee suffered serious injuries after being hit by a heavy goods vehicle at a site in Chesterfield.
The 55 year-old accident victim was returning to the site after his lunch break on 14 December 2010 when the accident occurred. The bad weather at that time meant that the site was heavily congested with vehicles because of delays in delivery in the days preceding the accident.
While returning to the premises on foot the man noticed the heavy goods vehicle reversing and waited on a kerb until it had reversed past him, when the vehicle had passed him he stepped off the kerb and assumed the vehicle would continue reversing. But the vehicle had only reversed in order to let another vehicle sufficient space to move, so it then suddenly moved forward hitting the employee and knocking him to the ground and under the vehicle.
A witness to the accident noticed the high visibility jacket worn by the man who had been hit and immediately alerted the driver who stopped the vehicle. However at this stage the accident victim had already sustained life-threatening injuries. He suffered fractures to his pelvis, ribs and legs, damage to his lower spine, an injured shoulder and cuts to the head. He had to be resuscitated twice in hospital and suffers from post-traumatic epilepsy to this day as a result of the accident. He also continues to have both breathing and mobility difficulties. He has not yet returned to work and it remains to be seen if he will ever be in an appropriate physical and mental condition to resume full employment.
The HSE investigation into the accident determined that the manufacturing company had failed to carry out a necessary risk assessment, nor had they implemented sufficient safety measures to ensure driver safety and pedestrian safety in the yard of the site.
HSE Inspector Fiona Coffey spoke after the case:
“On the day of the incident, the site was congested with unusually high levels of traffic yet there were no pedestrian crossing points, speed restrictions, mirrors or signage, or any other means of segregating pedestrians and vehicles.
“The company had been visited by HSE six months prior to the incident and had been given verbal instruction on how to better control workplace transport, which a Director and the Health and Safety Manager had agreed to. As a result of the company’s failure to implement this guidance, their employee suffered painful and life-changing injuries.
“Vehicles at work continue to be a major cause of fatal and major injuries. Last year 27 workers were killed after being hit by a moving vehicle and more than 1,800 were seriously injured.”
The manufacturing compan pleaded guilty to breaching Section 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Magistrates at the North East Derbyshire Court decided to fine the company £8,000 in addition to costs of of £7,435.