Companies Fined £160,000 Over Death

Logistics Company And Cigarette Giant Fined



A logistics company and cigarette giant Imperial Tobacco have been fined a combined £160,000 after a man was crushed to death by a lorry.

Gary Brooks, a HGV driver for logistics company Exel Europe Ltd, was trying to collect a loaded trailer from an Imperial Tobacco site in Nottingham when the accident happened on September 7, 2007.

The 42-year-old, from Cotgrave, Nottingham, was trying to attach a trailer to his cab but the lorry rolled forwards and trapped him against a building and he suffered head injuries.

At Nottingham Crown Court, Exel, based in Milton Keynes, and Imperial Tobacco Ltd, from Bristol, pleaded guilty to breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

A spokesman said the Health and Safety Executive investigation found that drivers working for both companies did not routinely apply the trailer brakes to make sure the vehicles were safely parked.

Some drivers had not been properly trained or assessed and no checks had been carried out to monitor the use of trailer brakes in the yard, he said. Both companies had identified the risk to workers but failed to implement appropriate control measures, the spokesman added.

The HSE said their method of working ignored safety guidance, leaving drivers, other employees, visitors and contractors all at risk.

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “I welcome the fines imposed following this horrific fatal accident. The tragedy of this work accident is that both companies had identified safety risks yet failed to take steps to remove them. All too often, I have to assist workers pursue their compensation claim following injuries sustained in an accident at work in circumstances that could and should have been avoided."

If you have lost a loved one due to an accident at work, our serious injury solicitors could help you claim compensation to help get the answers you deserve. Visit our fatal accident claims or accidents at work claims page for more information.