Both vehicles didn’t apply brakes leading to tragic accident…
Two companies have been ordered to pay almost £800,000 in fines and prosecution costs after a driver died after being run ovr by his own vehicle.
The 51-year-old accident victim was employed by a haulage company based in Gloucester when the accident occurred on 11 October 2010. He had been in the process of collecting a trailer from a manufacturing company in Derbyshire and had failed to apply the brakes to his vehicle, unfortunately the driver of the trailer had also failed to apply the braking mechanism and as the man was attempting to couple his lorry to the trailer his vehicle moved away. It is thought that the accident victim ran around to the front of the vehicle in an attempt to bring it to a stop and was run over by the onrushing vehicle at this point – he died as a result of the multiple injuries he sustained in the accident.
The subsequent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into his death discovered that the manufacturing company that provided the trailer failed to ensure that their drivers applied the trailer brakes while they were transferring them onto other vehicles. Derby Crown Court was also informed that the haulage company that employed the accident victim had had previous instances of lorries rolling away and had failed to train their drivers to deal with this risk.
The haulage company was found guilty of breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £450,000 in addition to costs of £23,317.
The manufacturing company pleaded guilty to the same charges and was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £21,341.
HSE inspector Judith McNulty-Green commented after the hearing:
“This was not an isolated incident – sadly there are deaths and serious injuries to drivers every year in similar circumstances. It happened out of poor practice and was entirely preventable.
“The manufacturing company failed to implement a safe system of work for the storage of trailers with the brakes applied. They and the haulage company also failed to implement and monitor working procedures for coupling and uncoupling trailers in the yard, and they failed to do it despite previous incidents.
“Had they done so they would have realised trailer brakes were routinely not being applied, taken appropriate action and a man would not have lost his life so needlessly.”
Author: Julian Roberts
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