*UPDATE* Worker was trapped between shovel loader and her lorry
Tuesday 6th February 2018
From the archive: Just so you know, this article is more than 3 years old.
Beverley Upton, an employee of waste management firm Mac Skip Hire, had been sitting in the cab of her truck while her co-worker used a shovel loader to fill the vehicle with garden waste for off-site disposal.
A piece of carpet became lodged against the top edge of the lorry and Upton climbed out to try and remove it manually. The driver of the loader then attempted to drag the carpet free using the vehicle's bucket. He did not see that Upton was still in the vicinity and she became trapped between the bucket and the side of her truck. She died almost instantly as a result of her injuries.
HSE inspector Mark Austin carried out a site-wide inspection the day after the accident, which happened on 4 November 2015. He found the company's failure to enforce "basic site controls and rules" resulted in pedestrians and vehicles not being suitably segregated and served an improvement notice.
He said: "There was a failure to organise the workplace in terms of segregating vehicles and pedestrians. The company had got some systems and policies written down but they hadn't appeared to be followed through and enforced on site. I felt there was more that could have been done.
"Pedestrian walkways had faded and the wearing of hi vis vests had not been enforced; people weren't wearing them, including Ms Upton at the time [of the accident]."
Austin also found the hopper, conveyor, trommel and sorting line were in poor condition and served a further two improvement notices and one immediate prohibition notice that read: "Persons liable to suffer injury or death from either contact with unprotected electrical conductors or from contact with the ascending conveyor because suitable guarding or other protective measures have not been taken."
On receiving the enforcement notices Mac Skip Hire employed an external safety and health consultant to help it implement new solutions.
"[The company] enforced the wearing of hi vests and other PPE," said Austin, "and designated parking bays were introduced for certain vehicles."
At Leicester Magistrates' Court on 30 January, Judge Timothy Daber concluded that culpability was medium. The seriousness of harm risked was level A and the likelihood of harm was medium (harm category 2). He then moved up a harm category to 1 to reflect the fact the offence exposed a number of workers to the risk of harm and was a significant cause of actual harm.
The starting point for the fine was £100,000 because the company fell in the "micro organisation" turnover range. The judge reduced this by 10% for mitigating factors, including its co-operation with the investigation, before he applied a reduction of one-third as it pleaded guilty at an early stage.
Mac Skip Hire was fined £60,000 plus £14,500 costs.
The London Borough of Croydon employee was working as a cleaner in Veolia UK’s motor vehicle repair workshop when he was struck by a reversing 17.5 tonne dust cart on 9 May 2016. He sustained multiple fractures to his right fibula, femur, knee, ankle, wrist and hand. He also sustained a degloving injury to his right hand, which required a skin graft.Due to his learning difficulties, the worker was employed as a “supported employee” and should have had heightened supervision.
The WSH Institute and MoM reported 42 workplace fatalities in 2017, down from 66 in 2016, which is the equivalent of a fatal injury rate of 1.2 per 100,000 workers. The latest figure shows Singapore has met the WSH2018 target of a workplace fatality rate of less than 1.8 by 2018.The government agencies said it was a “significant improvement after fatal injury rates stagnated at 1.9 per 100,000 employed persons in 2015 and 2016”.
Two IKO Design employees were re-siting a heater and installing a new chimney flue on 31 October 2014 when one of them fell through a skylight.He died from his injuries six months later, Leicester Crown Court was told. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) served an immediate prohibition notice after it found there was no safe access to a tower scaffold and no safe working platform. IKO had also failed to provide workers with personal protective equipment.
Sean Gilbert, whose 25 years at 3M’s Atherstone plant in Warwickshire include ten as a lift truck driver, was handed the award in January for “demonstrating exceptional commitment to improving site safety for everyone working with or alongside forklift trucks”. Gilbert was promoted to the company’s national Health and Safety Group in February 2017 after working in the plant’s warehouse for a decade and used his experience on the shop floor to develop and deliver training on pedestrian safety from the driver’s point of view.
Passenger suitcases were being unloaded from a commercial aircraft and lifted on to a flatbed truck before being driven to the terminal building at London Luton Airport in June 2015. The baggage handlers, who were Swissport employees and agency workers, stacked the suitcases above the height restriction marked on the truck cab’s rear window, obstructing the driver’s view.
Hull Crown Court was told that Tata Steel employee Thomas Standerline, 26, was standing inside a cage while inspecting a crane in April 2010. An overhead crane travelled over the edge of his cage and trapped him, leading to instant death. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that, even after the occurrence of two incidents prior to Standerline’s death, Tata Steel had failed to enforce its own safety procedures. It also found that the overhead crane in question should not have been in operation.