34 year old man dies after loading vehicle reverses into him…
The driver of a loading vehicle has been prosecuted after the driver of another vehicle was killed when he reversed the loading shovel into the other man’s lorry at a waste site in Cambridgeshire.
The 34-year-old accident victim from Sutton was hit by the loading vehicle while he was closing the rear doors of his HGV. He was crushed to death by the impact of the loading vehicle. Earlier he had been in the process of removing waste material from his vehicle in a designated safe area at the site.
Cambridge Magistrates’ Court was told that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) decided to proceed with a prosecution charge after their investigation revealed safety failings that contributed to the man’s tragic death. The HSE investigation found that the driver of the loading vehicle had inflicted fatal crush injuries on the accident victim after reversing backwards while levelling off ruts in the ground using the bucket attached to his vehicle.
The investigators concluded that the driver of the loading vehicle had failed to drive in a safe manner and take reasonable precautions while operating the large and powerful vehicle under his care.
The driver was sentenced to a 24-week prison sentence which was suspended for two years, he was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £600 after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He will be forced to live under a home curfew order between 10pm and 6am for three months.
HSE Inspector Roxanne Barker spoke after the sentencing had been announced:
“This was an entirely preventable tragedy that devastated the victim’s partner, parents and family.
“HSE took the rather unusual decision in this case to prosecute an individual rather than a company because it was clear that the driver had totally failed to take the care that was necessary when operating a large vehicle on a busy waste site.
“Reversing vehicles have been the cause of many fatalities in workplaces over the years and the risks are well known in industry, and obviously companies have a duty to assess risks and implement safety precautions for their sites. But equally, employees have a duty to take reasonable care for the safety of others, particularly when they are operating dangerous machinery”.
Author: Julian Roberts
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