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Goods Loading Under Spotlight Following Bale Death

Firm Fined Over Fatal Incident


A company in Cambridge has been fined over £150,000 over a fatal work accident which highlights the importance of safe systems for the loading and storage of heavy goods.

Gary Darnell was fatally injured in the incident in September 2008, when a 700kg bale of straw fell from a lorry on to him during an unloading operation involving an overhead gantry crane.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that the firm was guilty of a number of safety failings in relation to the movement of bales around the loading and storage area at its Elean Power Station in Sutton.

Discussing the industrial accident, workplace injury expert David Urpeth of Irwin Mitchell said: “This case demonstrates the devastating impact that falling objects in the workplace can have.

“We deal with a number of cases every year in which people have been serious or even fatally hurt following completely preventable incidents in a number of sectors involving falling items.

“All companies need to have systems in place which will ensure that the loading and handling of heavy items can be done in a manner which helps to cut the risk to workers on-site.

“It is clear that lessons are there to be learnt on this issue and I hope that tragic fatal accidents like this one act to encourage companies to put a real focus on workplace safety.