Tractor accident at work
A company has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £18,895 full costs after pleading guilty to three criminal charges brought by the HSE following the death of an employee in a tow tractor accident.
Daryl Wayne Lloyd was driving a three-wheeled battery operated vehicle at the premises of Pin Croft Dyeing and Printing Co Limited in Chorley on 16 May 2005. The tractor was not fitted with a seat belt and the cab doors were missing. The floor surface was uneven and Lloyd had not received sufficient driver training. When the vehicle toppled over he sustained fatal injuries from being crushed by the rim of the cab.
Rosemary Leese Weller, the HSE inspector who investigated the tractor accident case, said:
"Daryl's death was entirely preventable by simple health and safety precautions such as provision of a well maintained vehicle, properly maintained floor surface and by ensuring sufficient training in its use. Every year about 50 people are killed in accidents involving workplace transport. This particular accident illustrates the importance of employers providing safe sites, safe vehicles and safe drivers."
Tractor accident caused by breach of regulations
Pin Croft Dyeing and Printing Co Limited was fined a total of £100,000 following the tractor accident after pleading guilty to three charges:
1. Under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 in that they failed to ensure the safety of Lloyd;
2. Under Regulation 3(1) (a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 in that they failed to make a suitable assessment of the risks to his health and safety; and
3. That they breached regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) in that they failed to ensure that the tow tractor being driven by Lloyd was maintained in efficient working order.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) came into force on 5 December 1998. The Regulations require risks to people's health and safety, from equipment that they use at work, to be prevented or controlled.
In general terms, the Regulations require that equipment provided for use at work is:
- suitable for the intended use;
- safe for use, maintained in a safe condition and, in certain circumstances, inspected to ensure this remains the case;
- used only by people who have received adequate information, instruction and training; and
- accompanied by suitable safety measures, e.g. protective devices, markings, warnings.
Generally, any equipment which is used by an employee at work is covered, for example hammers, knives, ladders, drilling machines, power presses, circular saws, photocopiers, lifting equipment (including lifts), dumper trucks and motor vehicles. Similarly, if you allow employees to provide their own equipment, it too will be covered by PUWER and you will need to make sure it complies.