Inverness Sheriff Court has fined an animal feed company £80,000 after being found guilty of breaching Section 2 and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in February 2011.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into how a 33 year old worker died after being buried under tonnes of grain has revealed significant health and safety failings.
The HSE told the court that the worker was in the process of opening the back doors of a vehicle when they flew open. As the vehicle was already rising the load was tipped over the worker.
Emergency services were called and used a digger to remove approximately 10 tonnes of wheat before the worker was located. Attempts of resuscitation failed and he was declared dead at the scene.
The HSE found that a bungee style cable was being used to operate controls which were only designed to be used by hand, ensuring that the driver was not present at the rear of the vehicle while the hydraulics were lifted.
After the case was heard, HSE Inspector Niall Miller said:
“This risk here was entirely foreseeable. The bungees or elasticated cords on this tipping control had been on there for some time and there were other devices – such as pieces of wood and plastic pipe – that were used to defeat the safety function on other lorries. [The firm] could easily have supervised drivers on site. If [the worker] had been prevented from using the elasticated cord on the tipping control, he could not have gone behind his lorry when it was tipping upwards.”
For further information on transport safety click here.