A clean look at safety

When vehicle driver and cleaner Izzy Lloyd stepped out of a bus she had been cleaning into the engineering bay at the Maidstone depot of Arriva Southern Counties in April 2010, she felt a sharp piece of metal pierce her work boot and penetrate her foot.

It may not sound very serious but the metal shard infected her left foot and ankle with necrotising fasciitis - a bacterial infection commonly known as the ‘flesh-eating’ disease. Despite emergency surgery at the time and numerous further medical interventions since, her lower leg had to be amputated in January this year. In a civil case brought since by Lloyd with the support of union Unite against her former employer at the Mayors and City of London County Court, Arriva Southern Counties was deemed liable for the incident under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.  The scale of damages has not yet been decided but is expected to be substantial.

If you’re carrying out an activity in one part of a site or building that creates regular mess, it should be kept as separate as possible from everything else, ideally behind closed doors or cordons. As part of all this, it’s obviously important for employers to carry out risk assessments, ensure their staff are trained to recognise the problem and deal with it, and have effective supervision in place to ensure cleaning is actually carried out.  It can also help - though it’s not specifically required by the regulations - to have sign-off sheets in place for staff to confirm they have checked and cleaned any areas of risk on a regular basis.

Robin Meczes will examine the subject in more detail in an article to be published in the 8 August issue of Commercial Motor 

K&M Haulage (UK) and Don Hunter (Transport) creditors unlikely to receive money

Creditors of Suffolk-based haulier K&M Haulage (UK) and its subsidiary Don Hunter (Transport) have been told they are unlikely to receive a dividend when it is wound-up later this year.

Liquidator Simon Plant of The SFP Group said negotiations to buy the firm’s business and assets broke down.

Plant said: “A sale of the assets on a piece meal basis was not possible given that the majority of items were subject to third party finance. Consequently there were insufficient realisations to enable a dividend distribution to any class of creditor.”

The insolvency process has been going on since April 2010, when it first entered administration after Don Hunter (Transport) was presented with a winding-up petition against it by HMRC.

The hauliers, which collectively held O-licences to run 42 vehicles out of the Orwell Crossing Lorry Park in Ipswich, owed unsecured creditors a combined total of £989,109 when they first entered administration.

Creditors have been invited to a final meeting on 1 October.