Tipper worker’s death "should have been prevented"

Kent aggregates specialist Moores Turf and Top Soil has been ordered to pay more than £180,000 in fines and costs after a worker was killed by dangerous lifting equipment on a tipper truck.

In a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution, Canterbury Crown Court was told how Brian Peek, 57, from Ashford, sustained fatal injuries while unloading bags of hardcore and aggregate for the firm at a domestic address in Wittersham, Kent, in November 2006. The lorry was fitted with a small crane and clam shell bucket, which he used to grab the bags and lower them to the ground. As Peek unloaded the final bag, he leant over the back of the vehicle and the crane slew around, trapping his neck between the bucket and the back of the lorry’s tipping body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An HSE investigation found the equipment supplied to Peek was in a poor state of repair and that the system of work employed to unload bulk bags of aggregate and hardcore was unsafe. The incident could have been prevented had more suitable equipment been provided for the unloading task, such as a flatbed lorry and forklift truck. Moores had such equipment available for use, but sent the crane-mounted tipper instead.

The firm, based in Romney Marsh, was fined £85,000 and ordered to pay £97,791 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

After sentencing, HSE principal inspector Mike Walters said that had Moores Turf and Top Soil taken time to properly assess the risks associated with the delivery of bulky bags of hardcore and aggregate, it would have become clear that a safer method of working could have been used. He added: “Brian Peek’s death could and should have been prevented. The lifting equipment on the lorry was badly maintained and wasn’t safe for use. It was also unnecessary because the firm had equipment more suited to the job, which could have been used instead. Employers must ensure that they maintain lifting equipment, and that they provide their employees with the most suitable and appropriate equipment for the tasks they undertake. They must also ensure that safe systems of work are followed on site during the unloading of goods from vehicles.”

Pall-Ex Polska fuels network's growth

Pall-Ex Polska has gone live, becoming the fifth Continental territory within the UK business’s expanding pallet network. Run by KMC Services, it is Pall-Ex’s second Eastern European territory after Pall-Ex Romania, which launched in late 2011. The 19-member network, which began officially operating on 13 September in Poland, joins Pall-Ex Italia, Iberia and France, which went live in May of this year, as part of the enlarged group.

Government to publish update on winter readiness soon

The Department for Transport (DfT) is set to publish arrangements for the allocation of the UK’s strategic salt supply next month, transport minister Norman Baker has said.The update to the strategic salt protocol, setting out both the arrangements for the allocation of strategic salt and the price per tonne, should be published in early October, Baker stated recently.

BMC's UK future in doubt

The Turkish government's seizure of its national truck and coach maker BMC has put the brand's future in the UK in doubt, according to the marque's UK and Ireland importer Pelican Engineering.BMC, which makes commercial vehicles, municipal and military vehicles and bus and coaches, was seized in May 2013 by Turkey’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund, which is the governing body for fund management and insurance in the Turkish banking system.

One off auction of Volvo trucks next week

Manheim will host a one-off auction of vehicles from Volvo Trucks next week at its Leeds site.Peter Groome, used truck director at Volvo Trucks, said the sale at Leeds next Thursday (3 October 2013) for 28 tractor units is designed to pull in operators who might not buy directly from the manufacturer or its dealer network. 

Daf launches Euro-6 LF and CF Construction range

Daf has launched its LF and CF Construction truck models, following on from the global launch of the its Euro-6 tractor-units at this year's Commercial Vehicle Show. The construction version of Daf’s CF features a distinctive black grill that the manufacturer describes as “displaying strength”.