Freight co knew of poor risk assessment prior to worker’s death
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
From the archive: Just so you know, this article is more than 3 years old.
Freight First must pay £90,000 in fines after a runaway lorry ploughed into employee Tony Schulze on 22 January 2011, crushing him to death.
Schulze, who was not normally tasked with driving articulated vehicles and had no training for coupling lorries, was working at the weekend parking trailers in the yard so they would be ready for pick-ups and deliveries on Monday morning.
As he released the brakes on one of the trailers to attach it to a lorry cab, it rolled forward. Schulze ran past the trailer and in front of the cab in a bid to jump through the open door but he was crushed between the door and cab frame when the HGV hit another vehicle. He died at the scene, despite co-workers' attempts to save him.
In addition to the lack of training, there was no safe system of work for the coupling and uncoupling of vehicles, nor was there a written procedure for the work, according to the HSE. The cab's handbrake also was not applied. Freight First's generic risk assessment, prepared in May 2010, did not address connecting cabs to trailers and failed to identify the risk of runaway vehicles. An external health and safety adviser had highlighted the insufficient risk assessment to the company in December 2010, though no action was taken.
Freight First was fined £90,000 at Liverpool Crown Court and ordered to pay £67,500 in costs after it was found guilty of a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
"If Mr Schulze had pulled the park button on the trailer when it started to move then it would have activated the trailer brakes. However there is no evidence to prove that Mr Schulze had received training on coupling the HGVs, so may well not have known this," said HSE inspector Adam McMahon after the hearing.
As we reported last month, 53-year-old George Hancock had just started his evening shift when he was crushed to death by his own forklift truck. The driver of another, larger double forklift was stacking pallets and operating with impaired vision when Hancock went round a blind corner and the two vehicles collided. The smaller forklift tipped over and Hancock, who was not wearing a lap restraint, was thrown from his seat and killed under his vehicle.
As we reported in January, C.RO Ports landed the fine after a worker’s arm became wrapped around a powered capstan as he was mooring a ferry at Purfleet Terminal in Essex. The worker was unable to reach the emergency stop button but his colleague pressed it and the drum ceased turning.
New draft guidance from the General Medical Council (GMC) states that a GP should report those who continue to drive against their advice. It is currently the driver’s responsibility to notify the DVLA of any medical condition that might leave someone at risk of death or serious harm.The strengthened guidance is part of a public consultation on the GMC’s core guidance on confidentiality.
The firearms officer was performing light duties while recovering from an injury. He and a colleague were using a hydraulic shear to destroy weapons and dispose of them. The two workers were destroying a submachine gun when it kicked up under the shear, trapping the injured officer’s right index finger against the underside of a combine clamp and guard, severing the tip.
As we reported on 27 January, a crew from Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering and workers supplied by Littlewood Fencing were deployed on 1 October 2012 to repair an Armco barrier that had been hit by a beer lorry. They were also clearing up the thousands of beer cans on the carriageway, removing debris and setting up temporary traffic management systems.
Larry Newman, 37, was part of a team sent out by subsidiary firm Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering to install temporary traffic management measures and repair a barrier that had been damaged in a collision on the A2 road. The crew deployed a lorry-mounted crane to remove a post footing that had snapped. During the work, the crane became unstable and swung backwards, hitting Newman on the head and killing him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A Belfast-based Risk & Compliance software provider has been collaborating with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and construction giant Costain as part of an ongoing project to unlock artificial intelligence’s (AI) potential in improving the management of risks on worksites.
We spoke to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Andrew Johnson about a case where a one-tonne pallet of glass fell on a United Pallet Network (UK) Limited’s employee, causing life-changing injuries.
The US Department of Labor has presented an Ohio-based vehicle parts manufacturer on its ‘severe violator enforcement programme’ with a fine of $480,240 (approx. £373,000) after inspectors found it had continually exposed workers to multiple machine hazards
Birch Brothers (Kidderminster) Ltd was the principal contractor on a construction project in Derbyshire that was building a concrete overflow weir structure on the site. The Midlands firm had brought in steel fixers and joiners to undertake the work.