H&M Distribution has been fined £60,000 after an agency multidrop delivery driver sustained life-changing injuries.
Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court heard how the 27-year-old driver was using a pallet truck to manoeuvre beer kegs on his lorry when he fell backwards from the raised tail-lift onto the road.
He was struck by several of the kegs and suffered a traumatic brain injury and facial fractures which required metal plates to be inserted into his skull.
The court heard how it was the agency worker’s first day at the company and he had received “a brief induction process” after arriving that morning at H&M Distribution’s Gloucester depot.
An investigation by the HSE found the worker had no previous experience in using the type of pallet truck or tail-lift involved in the incident.
He had not been given any practical training in the safe use of the machinery, nor was he made aware of safe working practices or how the pallet truck should be used on a tail-lift.
H&M Distribution pleaded guilty to breaching the Health & Safety at Work Act and it was ordered to pay costs of more than £7,000.
HSE inspector Berenice Ray said: “Employers who use agency workers or contractors have a responsibility to firstly establish the workers’ competence, taking into account their level of experience and familiarity with the work and work equipment, and then provide the appropriate level of training to ensure the work is done safely.”
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