Worker hit by car while assisting reversing HGV

A Shropshire operator must pay £12,500 in fines and costs after a worker died while attempting to assist a reversing truck.

On 27 January, Mold Crown Court was told that Philip Ledward was hit by a passing car while assisting one of Arkenfield Stable Hire’s HGV drivers to manoeuvre the vehicle.

He received fatal injuries from the incident, which happened in November 2011 at the operator’s Boundary Garage, Ellesmere Road, Bronington premises.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company, which holds O-licences authorising up to six vehicles and six trailers across two operating centres, did not have a system in place to control the movement of workplace transport safely.

Arkenfield Stable Hire, of Birch House, Back Lane, Coton, Whitchurch, pleaded guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £7,500 with £5,000 in costs.

HSE inspector Damian Corbett said after the hearing: “Workplace transport continues to be a major cause of fatal and serious injury. Estimates suggest that up to one-third of all road traffic accidents involve someone who is at work at the time.”

Wincanton cuts subbie rates as fuel prices fall

Wincanton is cutting its subcontractor rates in its general haulage business in response to falling fuel prices, has learned.

A letter sent to the business’s subcontractors explained that it had “no mechanism for cost recovery during times of lower fuel prices”, while its customers did. This, the letter said, means Wincanton has to pass costs to customers to reflect cheaper diesel, which it does not “receive in kind from its haulier partners”.

Stewart Franks, director of South Cave, Humberside-based Saftrans and long-standing Wincanton subcontractor, told CM: “I don’t think it’s fair, because it didn’t give us a rate increase when prices were much higher. We’ve been on the same rates for about eight years and four years ago fuel costs were sky high. It didn’t give us extra to help with costs then. I think this is nasty.” 

He added: “I think it is taking advantage of the situation because its customers have backed it into a corner.”

A Wincanton spokesman said: “Wincanton periodically reviews its rate cards to ensure they reflect the marketplace fairly.

Following the recent fall in fuel prices we have reviewed some rate cards in our general haulage business to ensure we are able to continue to offer the highest levels of service in a competitive market.

“We have been in contact with those partners affected by this change and are working with them to respond to any queries that they may have.”

The lower rates will take effect on 25 January, but Wincanton said it would commit to “reviewing the impact of fuel on the market every quarter”.