Haulage Companies In Court After Worker Paralysed

Two Haulage Companies Have Been Taken To Court After A Worker Was Paralysed In An Accident


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397
Two haulage companies have been sentenced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after safety failings led a worker to be paralysed from the neck down.

The 51-year-old man in question - who wishes to remain anonymous - was about to set out on a delivery before the accident took place.

A court heard the worker pulled his loaded HGV out of its parking bay so he could close the rear doors, but as he did so, a curtain-sided lorry reversed alongside his vehicle - crushing him in the process.

The unnamed employee was rushed to hospital, but doctors were unable to prevent him from sustaining a life-changing disability.

Since the accident, the man has had trouble moving his arms and has experienced partial sight loss.

An investigation by the HSE found that both the company the employee worked for, as well as the owners of the yard where the accident took place, did not have documented procedures for vehicle movements in areas used by pedestrians.

Upon the completion of an inquiry into the two companies, it was concluded that an Improvement Notice should be handed out - forcing both firms to ensure that pedestrians and HGVs could circulate in a safe manner.

But after further deliberation the HSE decided to prosecute both H&M Distribution, which employed the injured man, and H E Payne Transport, which owns the yard.

H&M Distribution was told to pay £163,996 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

H E Payne Transport was fined £113,996, but was prosecuted under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Speaking after the conclusion of the case, HSE inspector Emma Rowlands said: "This was a horrific and entirely preventable injury caused by the shared failure of both companies to recognise the hazards arising from loading operations at the transport yard and their duty to protect the people working there.

"Our investigation found that there was no documented procedure which allowed workplace transport and pedestrians to circulate the site in safety, and a dangerous lack of segregation between vehicles and workers on foot."

Expert Opinion
This is yet another shocking case where a worker suffered life-changing injuries in an accident at work that could have easily been avoided. The Health and Safety Executive’s investigation into this incident and its subsequent prosecution of the companies involved indicates how important it is for businesses to follow health and safety laws when employees are working with large vehicles.

"Through our daily work we see the devastating consequences of these guidelines not being followed, which can result in permanent or debilitating injuries for workers. We hope employers that manage staff working alongside HGVs learn lessons from this successful HSE prosecution and ensure that the appropriate safety measures are taken to protect their workers from a similar life-changing injury."
Stephen Nye, Partner