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Agriculture firm fined after two workers injured by reversing vehicles

Date:
9 June 2015

AB Agri Limited has been fined after two people were injured when they were struck by a reversing heavy goods vehicle at the company’s Northallerton site.

Michael Armitage and Simon Manock were not directly employed by the company but were visiting the site undertaking plant installation work when the incident happened on 24 February 2014.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) today (9 June) prosecuted AB Agri Limited at Northallerton Magistrates’ Court for serious safety failings after an investigation into the incident.

The court heard that there was no suitable risk assessment in place to ensure that pedestrians and vehicles did not come into contact with each other and that as a result there was no agreed safe system of work.

Mr Manock was less seriously injured, sustaining minor cuts and bruising. Mr Armitage however was knocked to the ground and run over by the rear wheels of the trailer. He suffered serious and multiple injuries to his arms torso and pelvis, requiring several bouts of surgery as a result.

AB Agri Ltd, of Grosvenor Street, London, was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay £1239 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Geoff Fletcher, said:

“This incident could have been easily prevented if AB Agri Ltd had put in place a safe system for preventing pedestrians and equipment from coming into contact with each other.

“The potential for collision and injury is well known within industry and is easily preventable through appropriate methods of segregation, such as physical barriers and non-pedestrian zones, especially where vehicles reverse routinely, and adequate instruction and supervision of drivers and pedestrians.

“Instead, the firm’s failures mean that two workers we able access an area where there was a high degree of risk and they have sustained injuries. This could easily have had tragic consequences.”

For more health and safety advice about safer workplace transport visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg136.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. hse.gov.uk
  2. Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974 states: ‘It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.’
  3. Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974 states: ‘It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.
  4. Further HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press

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