Fine for BAM Nuttall after employee killed by truck

HSE

Construction firm BAM Nuttall has been fined £700,000 after an employee was run over and killed by a six-tonne dumper truck.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that on 28 October 2016, at Blackhillock Substation in Keith, Moray, John Cameron was changing over a blade on a piece of work equipment at the side of a roadway when he was struck by the vehicle. He sustained serious pelvic injuries and died as a result.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Bam Nuttall failed to adequately assess the risks to its employees whilst they were repairing and replacing equipment. It failed to provide a system of work in relation to the task being undertaken, which defined a place or places where the work could be carried out safely and which also segregated people from vehicles.

The company, which holds standard national operator licences in three traffic areas, authorising between 10 and 12 HGVs, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined the six-figure sum.

Penny Falconer, HSE inspector, said: “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a man. This death could easily have been prevented if his employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and to put a safe system of work in place.”

Disqualification for repeat ‘absentee’ transport manager

A transport manager for a Dudley haulier who was warned by a traffic commissioner about being absent from her role, has been disqualified after she did it again for another operator. TC Nick Denton said it was “unconscionable” that having previously warned her about her conduct, Gurdip Kaur Purewal failed to exercise continuous and effective management for a second time at BHM Transport.

The operator appeared before the TC via a virtual PI after a DVSA traffic examiner stopped one of its vehicles and discovered the MoT had expired. Another driver had driven one of BHM’s vehicles without a tachograph on three occasions, which the operator had not detected. The DVSA also found that Purewal appeared not to be acting effectively as a transport manager.

For the company, its solicitor accepted that Purewal’s failure in her role as transport manager had been allowed to drift. However, it now had a new transport manager in place - Richard Jackman - and he had brought in the necessary improvements to compliance systems. BHM director Mandip Kaur had also attended an O-licence management course.

Giving evidence, the former transport manager said she had felt pressurised by a relative into taking on the post at BHM and she had also not been in good health at the time. She had also attended a two-day CPC refresher course in an effort to understand more about identifying and dealing with missing mileage.

In his written decision, the TC said BHM’s conduct in carrying on operations without an effective transport manager was “extremely serious”. Denton said: “Operating without a functioning transport manager constitutes a deliberate act liable to compromise road safety and liable to cause or permit driver offending.” He suspended its licence for 28 days and said: “While I conclude that the company does not deserve automatically to go out of business, if that is the effect of the 28 days suspension then so be it.”

The TC said there were several mitigating factors: Purewal may well have been pressurised into the role; she had not been well and she had attended a refresher course – but the transport manager had still betrayed the public’s trust. As a result, he disqualified her for 12 months.