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Logistics firm in court after worker breaks leg in lorry fall

Date:
29 April 2014

A Suffolk logistics firm has been fined for safety failings after a lorry driver fell from a flat-bed trailer at a company warehouse in Felixstowe.

The 60 year-old worker from mid Glamorgan, who does not wish to be named, broke his hip in three places and needed two steel pins inserted to help repair the damage following the incident on 6 February 2013.

He was reliant on crutches for three months and was unable to return to work for a further three months.

Denholm Global Logistics was today (29 April) prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found that more could and should have been done to prevent his fall.

Ipswich Magistrates’ Court heard that the driver, from a company in Wales, was collecting pallets of bricks from Denholm Global’s warehouse for onward transport. He had been asked to cover and secure the load to his flat-bed trailer with a protective sheet but as he walked along the edge of the trailer to pull the sheet across, he slipped and fell 1.5 metres to the ground.

HSE found the space occupied by the load meant the trailer’s edge protection barriers could not be raised. Despite instructing him to cover the load, Denholm Global Logistics failed to provide safeguards to prevent him from falling from the trailer.

HSE subsequently served the company with an enforcement notice requiring them to put measures in place to prevent workers falling in similar circumstances. They complied by providing two full length gantry platforms designed to fit down the side of the trailer and provide edge protection for working on the trailers of this type.

Denholm Global Logistics Ltd of Unit 6, Dooley Road, Felixstowe, was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £4,285 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Edward Crick, said:

“This worker has suffered significant injuries because Denholm Global Logistics Ltd did not provide any form of protection to safeguard visiting drivers from falling from the trailers.

“Their policy was to ensure that flatbed trailer loads were sheeted. They provided a dedicated area to do this, but failed to provide anything to prevent falls.

“They complied with an Improvement Notice requiring this, and had this measure been in place at the time, these injuries would have been prevented.”

Advice about preventing falls from vehicles can be found on the HSE website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/vehicles/preventingfalls.htm

Notes to Editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. Regulation 4(1)(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 states: “Every employer shall ensure that work at height is properly planned.”
  3. Further HSE news releases are available at press.hse.gov.uk

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