Skip truck overturns onto worker after vehicle and skip are misaligned…
A demolition firm based in Sheffield has been fined £300,000 after an employee was crushed to death when a skip lorry overturned.
The 37-year-old accident victim was in the porcess of tipping a skip at a work site in Derbyshire when the accident occurred on 22 July 2008.
Derby Crown Court was told that he left the cab of the vehicle in order to deploy a stabilising mechanism at the rear of the truck before proceeding with the lifting operation, but as he attempted to do this, the vehicle overturned and inflicted fatal crush injuries on him.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident discovered that the skip had not been aligned correctly with the vehicle because of misplaced hooks. This led to the vehicle being raised several feet off the ground once it had tipped beyond an angel of 70 degree, which ultimately caused the death of the man. The investigation also revealed that there was no safe system of work in place, especially for dealing with skip lifting operations and issues with hooks. Training and instruction levels were also found to be inadequate, while the risk assessment for loading the skips and unloading them was found to be lacking in identifying all risks associated with the process.
The demolition company, currently in liquidation, was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay £124,468 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
HSE inspector Edward Walker spoke after the hearing:
“The failings by the company were substantial, ranging from unsuitable equipment, an inadequate risk assessment, inadequate training and instruction, and an absence of safe systems of work.
“These failings led to a situation where things went badly wrong, and where the accident victim was placed in an impossible situation. His tragic death could easily have been avoided with better planning, management and foresight.”
Author: Julian Roberts
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