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Solihull firm fined after worker was crushed

Date:
15 June 2015

Solihull based car part manufacturer,TRW Ltd was fined on Monday 15 June 2015 after a worker was crushed between a forklift truck and a trailer suffering serious injuries.

On the 18 August 2014, the employee, who was a driver of an articulated lorry for Ford Motor Company, was on site at TRW Ltd making a collection. While altering the support beam on the trailer during a loading process he was hit by the load on the forklift which crushed him against the bed of the trailer as the forklift truck dropped the load.

The driver suffered broken ribs and internal bruising and is still unable to return to work following ongoing physical problems.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that TRW Ltd had not adequately assessed the risk from the movement of transport and there was no formal loading or unloading procedure. No consideration had been given to segregating pedestrians or providing safe areas for third party drivers. The forklift truck in use was a side-loading reach truck and the drivers view was restricted by the load.

Following the accident, the company ensured measures were subsequently put in place to segregate pedestrians from areas where vehicles were likely to operate and the risk was greatly reduced.

TRW Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1), Section 33(1)(a) and Section 33(2) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 at Cwmbran Magistrates Court on Monday 15 June 2015.

The Magistrate said that they considered the breach to have been extremely serious, this resulted in higher than usual culpability and potential for harm. The company was fined £14,000 and was ordered to pay full costs of £3988.50.

HSE Inspector Dean Baker said: “The injured person received serious injuries and now has long term physical and psychological problems as a result of this incident, howver this accident could have proved fatal.

“Although the company had a general transport policy that identified the risk to pedestrians, they did not ensure that pedestrians were excluded from certain areas during loading and unloading activities.

“Instead, they relied upon the use of high visibility jackets and the training of the forklift truck drivers to prevent accidents. Had the company followed HSE and industry guidance, the unfortunate accident would not have occurred.

Notes to Editors:

  1. Every year there are over 60 deaths from work-related transport accidents and over 2,000 major injuries. Employers must ensure that they assess the movement of vehicles and where possible segregate pedestrians to eliminate the risk. You must consider everyone who may come into contact with vehicles including visiting drivers and other non-employees. If it is not possible to segregate the work, measures such as audible reversing alarms, mirrors, flashing lights and clearly marked pedestrian zones should be considered to prevent future injuries and fatalities. http://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/lift-trucks/
  2. 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 
  3. Further HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press

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