Wife Of HGV Driver Crushed By Three-Tonne Load Demands Safety Reassurances

Steel Firm Fined After HSE Investigation Highlights Serious Failings


The wife of a HGV driver killed when he was knocked from his lorry and crushed by its three-tonne load has demanded reassurances that lessons have been learned from his death, following the prosecution of a steel firm in relation to this death.

Robert Ismay, who was 42, died at the premises of Davers Steel Ltd in Sheffield in December 2012 when he was knocked from his lorry’s trailer onto the pavement during the operation to unload bundles of the steel tubes from the vehicle – with the load then falling on top of him.

At a hearing in Sheffield Crown Court last week, the company was fined £62,000 and ordered to pay £38,000 in costs after admitting a breach in safety regulations, with the HSE investigation highlighting several failings in the unloading operation.

These included a failure to assess the risks of the operation, insufficient instructions and training for staff and a lack of direction for workers which led to them developing their own practices for offloading.

The family of Robert, who have instructed specialist workplace injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help them gain vital financial support following this death, have now revealed their hopes that – as well as the fine – steps have been taken to improve safety so that no one else suffers in the same manner.

Expert Opinion
The prosecution by the HSE has highlighted how a series of unacceptable and wholly avoidable safety failings led to Robert’s death.

"All businesses have a duty to ensure that the health and safety of their workers and others who visit their sites comes first, but this case sadly shows the consequences which can emerge when this does not happen.

"We are continuing to work on behalf of Robert’s family to secure the vital financial support they deserve following this tragedy and hope to bring the case to a swift conclusion."
Claire Newstead, Partner

Mother-of-three Michelle Ismay, the wife of Robert, said: “The whole family is still trying to come to terms with the loss and we miss him every day.
“While it is welcome to see this company prosecuted regarding failings which should never have been allowed to happen, we are disappointed by the fine and feel the fact it is the only outcome we are aware of is an insult.
“We hoped this prosecution would lead to recommendations which would see health and safety improve and are keen for an indication of this. We hope that steps can be taken to fully outline what has been put in place to ensure that what Robert faced will never happen to anyone else in the future."