The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have successfully prosecuted a Sheffield based steel firm after an investigation into a fatal accident revealed a series of significant safety failings.
The case was held at Sheffield Crown Court who fined the company £62,000 and ordered to pay £38,000 in costs after admitting breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
The HSE told the court that a 42 year old father of three was delivering by lorry, two loads of steel tubing, in December 2012. He parked on the road opposite the delivery point.,
No checks were made by the firm to ascertain what the load consisted of or how it was positioned.
Additionally, a newly qualified forklift driver was tasked to lift the load off the lorry. The forks were not long enough to secure the load and they fell causing the worker to fall from his vehicle, striking him and causing fatal injuries.
In summary, the HSE reported that the company had failed to risk assess the nature of the load and therefore had not provided an appropriate safe working system, they had failed to provide sufficient instruction and guidance to staff allowing them to implement their own way of working.
A correct assessment of the load would have highlighted the need to offload in a controlled area not on a busy public road putting members of the public at risk.
HSE inspector Chris Gallagher, after the hearing said:
“There was a series of safety failings by [the company] in this case. Key was its failure to put in place adequate control measures, which includes the provision of suitable instructions to employees and visiting workers so such tasks could be completed safely”.
“[The company] should have taken responsibility for the driver’s safety and the delivery and unloading operation. Companies that receive deliveries to their premises have a duty to ensure that any unloading operation is carried out in a safe manner.”