£120,000 Fine Over Driver's Death

HGV Driver Death

26.06.2008

A building distribution firm has been fined £120,000 over the death of a HGV driver who fell 15ft from his trailer while checking the height of a load.

Saint Gobain Building Distribution Ltd was also ordered to pay £51,000 costs by Lincoln Crown Court after being found guilty of breaching health and safety regulations. The charges were brought under regulations 3(1) and 5(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

The accident happened on August 5 2005 when Nigel Sargeant, 46, from Boston, Lincolnshire, climbed on to his vehicle to lower the height of a load of metal telegraph poles which had been stacked too high. He slipped and fell, sustaining fatal head injuries.

"Every year 2,000 workers are seriously injured after falling from their vehicle and last year four workers actually lost their lives after falling from their truck or lorry," said HSE Inspector Jo Anderson. "It is vital that those who work in the transport industry take this issue seriously.

"This incident highlights the need for employers to recognise the risk of drivers falling when loading and unloading vehicles. They need to put measures in place to prevent this sort of incident from happening again."

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "Falls from height remain a significant category of serious and fatal industrial accidents.

"Falls from vehicles in particular are far more common than many would think. These are often work accidents that could and should have been avoided.

"I represent many people who have been injured or killed in workplace accidents."