Company Fined Following Fatal Truck Accident

Widnes Firm Fined £100,000 After Man Dies In Tipping Truck Incident


A 56-year-old man from Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, was killed when a tipping truck overturned.

David Astley had been attempting to unload limestone dust from a wagon at a site owned by Widnes-based Plasmor (Halton) Ltd in July 2013 when the incident occurred.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that a second truck driver had been told to empty his load in the same place as Mr Astley.

However, as he tried to lift the trailer, the machine toppled over and crushed Mr Astley in his cab.
The HSE ruled that the company had failed to conduct a thorough risk assessment to ensure delivery vehicles - some of which were said to weigh up to 44 tonnes - were kept a safe distance apart. Additionally, the person who was tasked with directing traffic around the site had not received sufficient training.

Bosses at Plasmor pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined £100,000. The firm was also ordered to cover costs of £28,634.

Incidents of this nature are common in the UK, with HSE statistics suggesting more than 5,000 workplace accidents that involve vehicles are reported every year. Around 50 of these incidents result in fatalities.

In most cases, a lack of segregation between vehicles and pedestrians is the root cause of transport-related occupational injuries.

Speaking after the Plasmor hearing - which took place at Liverpool Crown Court earlier this week (February 11th) - HSE inspector Jane Carroll said the firm should have recognised the potential hazard of overturning vehicles.

She suggested that exclusion zones should have been introduced to minimise the risk of injury.
"Plasmor has since changed its procedures so staff are properly trained and tipper trucks are kept at least 20 metres apart. If this system had been in place at the time of the incident then Mr Astley's death could have been avoided," Ms Carroll commented.

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