Worker’s injuries lead to fine


Wincanton Group has been fined £120,000 after an employee suffered serious injuries when drainage pipes he was unstrapping fell on him.

Chelmsford Crown Court was told how in 2015 the driver was unloading the 3m-long plastic pipes at a site in Braintree, Essex, when they fell, causing him to fall to the ground, resulting in facial injuries, and a broken nose and arm. During the investigation, it was found that Wincanton did not have suitable load plans in place for the type of product involved.

The investigation also revealed inadequacies in the company’s risk assessments, safe systems of work, supervision, monitoring and training at the site. Wincanton pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to comply with Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and was ordered to pay full costs of £29,540 to Braintree District Council, which brought the prosecution.

Councillor Wendy Schmitt, deputy leader and cabinet member for environment and place at Braintree District Council, said: “This was a shocking breach of workplace health and safety law that resulted in an employee being left with nasty injuries. I hope this prosecution sends out a message that there are serious consequences if health and safety laws are breached and Braintree District Council will deal with these robustly.”

A statement from Wincanton said the company was saddened by the accident and works incredibly hard to protect its people, customers and the general public at all times. “Our investigations found inadequate risk assessments, monitoring and training in place, as well as an unsafe system of work,” it added.

“We have ensured that the learnings from this case have been applied across our business and health and safety continues to be our number one priority. We accept the penalty that has been imposed but are pleased that the judge recognised that the company has a positive and proactive safety culture and is a responsible and considerate employer.”

Commercial Motor Awards 2018 shortlist: Apprentice of the Year

Commercial Motor Awards 2018

The Apprentice of the Year Award is a popular category and goes to an individual who has made a significant contribution to their workplace, as well as a business that has expanded and supported young talent. The winner will be announced on 15 November at The Vox, Birmingham. Go to commercial to see the shortlists for all categories, and to book tickets. Join the conversation about the Commercial Motor Awards by tweeting #2018CMA

Sonny Meijer, HGV technician apprentice, Ford & Slater, Kings Lynn
Sonny Meijer enrolled on the DAF Apprentice Programme at Ford & Slater Kings Lynn in 2015, with the hope of becoming a qualified HGV technician. Over the past three years Meijer said he has learnt a range of skills including how to service, maintain, diagnose and repair a variety of DAF Trucks - ranking him in the top 10% of his year group. He is the chairman of the apprentice panel at Ford & Slater, and the dealership said he had had a huge influence on the way it markets its apprenticeship schemes.

Christian Chirwa, supervisor, MAN Truck & Bus Nuneaton
Christian Chirwa won the MAN Truck & Bus UK Apprentice of the Year Award in the third year of his apprenticeship in 2017. Since then he has been promoted to supervisor at MAN Truck & Bus Nuneaton. He now looks after a team of technicians who are responsible for on-site maintenance at a customer premises working to keep vehicle off road to a minimum for the customer and the work in progress low for the branch. Assessors at S&B Training described him as an excellent communicator.

Kate Carter, truck sales executive, Roanza Truck and Van
Having initially qualified as a beautician Kate Carter recently graduated from the Roanza Mercedes-Benz sales apprenticeship. Carter is on target to achieve truck sales registrations inline with those of a seasoned sales executive at Roanza. Through listening, learning and optimisation all of the new technologies available in the industry, the Mercedes dealership said Carter is going to be a true ambassador and strong role model for women in the truck industry.

Thomas Belcher, apprentice, Rygor Swindon
Thomas Belcher is a second-year apprentice at Rygor’s Swindon branch. In his entry the Mercedes-Benz dealership described Belcher as possessing an “exceptional work ethic and a mature insight”. Belcher said of his apprenticeship: “From a young age I knew I wanted to work with vehicles. The Mercedes-Benz brand appealed to me and after doing some research, I could see that there were so many opportunities in commercial vehicle apprenticeships. Rygor Swindon is great - I wake up and I am happy to go to work in the morning.”

. Join the conversation about the 2018 Commercial Motor Awards and tweet us at #2018CMA