DHL and JCB fined £641,000 after worker hit by untrained driver

Plant manufacturer JCB and DHL, a subcontractor at its Staffordshire headquarters, have both been fined after a worker was crushed when a 770kg unstable load fell on top of him.

JCB was hit with a fine of £375,000, while DHL must pay £266,000.

Stafford Crown Court heard how an employee of DHL Services, named as Michael Addison [corrected 10 May], was auditing in-coming deliveries of equipment in an outside yard at the JCB World Headquarters at Rocester, Staffordshire.

According to the Stoke Sentinel, he was struck from behind by an electric tug or the trolley it was towing, and fell to the ground. The load of hydraulic rams then fell on top of him, and finally the trolley itself fell on its side, trapping him underneath.

The worker sustained multiple serious injuries including fractures and internal injuries.

An HSE investigation into the incident, on 16 October 2013, found a number of safety failures linked to the auditing activity, and also the segregation between employees and vehicles using this area.

In addition to the injured DHL worker, the HSE also found that employees of JCB accessed this area as pedestrians when vehicles were operating and the company was not adhering to its own procedures.

The HSE also said that there were inadequate road markings in the yard, and there was no specific risk assessment for auditing activities. According to the Stoke Sentinel, the court heard the driver of the truck which hit Mr Addison was not properly trained, and the driver had not sounded his horn while manoeuvring the tug and its load.

DHL Services, based in Milton Keynes, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act, and was fined £266,000 and ordered to pay costs of £23,370.

JC Bamford Excavators, of Lakeside Works, Rocester, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act, and was fined £375,000 and ordered to pay costs of £37,235.

spector David Brassington said after the hearing: “The dangers of failing to provide effective segregation between pedestrians and vehicles are well known. Both of these companies were well versed in transport risk management and both fell well below the required standard in ensuring that such risks were effectively managed in this area.”

“These failings allowed a pedestrian worker into a busy area where vehicles were coming and going and as a result the worker sustained serious injuries from which he has still not recovered.”

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