A logistics company was fined more than £370,000 last week after a worker suffered crush injuries while unloading a vehicle from a visiting lorry.
ERIKS Industrial Services of Amber Way, Halesowen, had pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £373,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,333.
Southend Magistrates’ Court was told that on 14 December 2015 an agency worker was unchaining a vehicle ramp from a delivery lorry when the lorry moved forward with one chain still attached to the ramp, crushing the worker between the ramp and a barrier.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found the company failed to fully control the risks arising from the operation of vehicle loading and unloading ramps.
The company did not implement suitably robust systems of work; did not provide sufficient training to allow workers to safely unload vehicles; and did not appropriately brief visiting drivers on their role in this activity.
Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Tim Underwood said: “This incident could have been avoided if the company had created a more detailed risk assessment and introduced a fully considered safe system of work. Removing the visiting lorry driver’s keys until the procedure was safely completed is one such method that could have prevented such an occurrence.
“Companies have a responsibility to provide sufficient information, instruction and training to all those involved in workplace transport operations (including visiting delivery drivers), in order to control the risk of serious personal injury,” he added.