Company Fined After Customer Killed By Van

79-Year-Old Man Dies From Head Injuries After Being Hit By Van

20.12.2013

A vehicle maintenance business owner has been fined £7,500 and ordered to complete 250 hours of community work in relation to safety failings that resulted in the death of a 79-year-old customer.

Frederick Gleeson suffered fatal head injuries when he was struck by a van on the premises of Complete Car Care in Wraysbury, Berkshire.

The vehicle was being driven by Mark Walker, who was attempting to leave the garage by reversing along the drive.

Mr Gleeson - who had taken his car to have an oil leak checked over - was unable to react in time and he banged his head as he hit the floor. He was taken to hospital, but later died from his injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that Mr Walker had no system in place for the safe movement of vehicles in his yard.

The van he was driving had no direct rear visibility and he did not check to see if the route was clear before he started moving backwards.

Following a week-long trial at Reading Crown Court, HSE inspector Nigel Fitzhugh said the accident could have been avoided if Mr Walker had taken necessary precautions before moving the van.

He was found guilty of two separate breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

"Managing the movement of vehicles at his premises was entirely his responsibility and it is clear there was no system in place to control this," Mr Fitzhugh commented.

This type of incident is common in the UK. Figures provided by the HSE show that more than half of all fatal workplace accidents can be attributed to falls from height, contact with moving machinery and being struck by a vehicle.

Mr Fitzhugh explained that employers have a duty to ensure workers do not have to cross paths with transport.

"Pedestrians and vehicles should always be segregated and if that cannot happen then other precautions should be put in place," he added.