Parcel company fined after employee crushed to death

Delivery firm Hermes has been fined £850,000 after a man was crushed to death at one of the company’s depots.

David Kennedy was working a night shift at Hermes’ depot in Motherwell when he was crushed between two trailers. David was being trained by a colleague at the time.

While manoeuvring a loaded trailer he walked backwards and became crushed between the arm of the moving trailer and a stationary trailer. He was crushed in the chest, suffering a collapsed lung, multiple rib fractures and significant internal injuries.

It happened in March 2019 while he was being trained in the use of a pedestrian-operated trailer mover.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Hermes had failed to properly plan and assess the risks of training taking place in their yard. They had not implemented their own policy that suitably trained banksmen would be used while trailers were being moved – including during training

Hermes Parcelnet Limited of Capitol Close, Morley, Leeds pleaded guilty on May 23 to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Section 2(1) and Section 33(1)(a) and were fined £850,000. Hermes Parcelnet is now called Evri.

HSE inspector Kim Ross said: “Employers have a responsibility to assess risk, devise safe systems of work and then ensure this is implemented. Had the training for the trailer mover been properly planned and supervised then the death of an employee could have been avoided.”

Notes to Editors:

1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:
3. HSE news releases are available at