Two haulage companies have been fined £150,000 and £100,000 respectively plus costs for serious safety failings that resulted in an HGV driver being paralysed from the chest down following an incident at a transport yard after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The accident occurred when the employee was crushed as he was closing the rears doors of his HGV lorry when another lorry reversed into the area he was working in at the yard. The court was told that before setting out on a delivery, the driver pulled his loaded HGV forward in the loading bay so that he could close his rear doors. As he did so, another lorry reversed alongside the bay into the area he was working in and crushed him between the two vehicles.
As a result of the accident, he suffered life-changing injuries and will never work again. As well as suffering paralysis, he has a brain injury which has affected his sight.
It transpires that the accident occurred as a result of neither company having documented procedure for vehicle movements in the transport yard. Vicki Wright, Personal Injury Specialist, notes that it is crucial for haulage companies and indeed for all companies where there is regular movement of pedestrians and vehicles to ensure that procedures are in place for pedestrians and vehicles to circulate in a safe manner. It is also important to ensure that where appropriate, vehicles and pedestrians are segregated.
Havant Solicitor, Vicki Wright, says, “This appears to have been a preventable injury which was caused by both companies failing to carry out proper risks assessments to protect the workers in the yard. As a result, a 51 year old has suffered horrific injuries and is paralysed for life.”
If you have suffered injuries arising out of an accident at work which you believe was not your fault, give Vicki a call on 023 92 483322 for free advice.