Customer Crushed to Death at Salvage Firm


An auto-salvage firm was fined £23,000 after a customer was trapped and fatally crushed when a lift truck he’d purchased was being loaded onto his own recovery vehicle.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how, on 15 February 2018, a lift truck purchased from Michael Douglas Autosalvage was lifted using the company’s skip lorry onto a recovery lorry at its premises in Etterby.

The metal ring on the lift truck that the winch wire was attached to failed, causing the lift truck to fall and trap Mr Paul Spence against the skip lorry.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to ensure that this complex lifting process was properly planned by a competent person and that it had failed in its duty not to expose customers to risk. 

The investigation concluded that a competent person would have identified that this loading method with this equipment was fundamentally unsafe.

The company pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and as well as the fine it was ordered to pay costs of £8,000.

HSE inspector Matthew Tinsley said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided should the lift have been properly planned and appropriate equipment and safe working practices been employed as a result.”

2003 Foden Alpha 3000 8x4 tipper - Used Truck Deal of The Day

Sotrex Limited Foden Alpha

This smart 2003 Foden Alpha 3000 8x4 tipper is our used truck deal of the day from Sotrex Limited in Nantwich and, despite its age, has only covered 304,343km.

The 32-tonner is powered by a 380hp 12-litre Caterpillar engine, which is coupled to a 12-speed manual gearbox. 

Its chassis is fitted with a Rouse high-side bulk alloy tipping body operated by Hyva underfloor hydraulic tipping gear. A PM On-board weigher is also equipped to this Foden.

On the market for £11,950, Sotrex Limited will accept payments for this vehicle in US dollars, and can arrange worldwide shipping.