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Firm Fined After Worker Is Crushed Between Two Lorries

Serious Injuries Sustained In Incident, Resulting In Heavy Fines For Transport Firm


TIP Trailer Services have been fined more than half a million pounds after a worker was crushed between two lorries in an incident in April 2013.

Jennifer Rose, 38, broke 13 bones in her back, shoulders and ribs. She also suffered a punctured lung, received severe head injuries, impaired vision, suffered a cardiac arrest, and required a tracheotomy. 

Following the incident, Mrs Rose was in intensive care for ten days. She required a body brace for four months, was confined to a wheelchair for a period, and still requires weekly physiotherapy.

An investigation by the HSE found Mrs Rose was injured when she was assisting a lorry driver reverse parking a vehicle on a slope. The driver decoupled his trailer without engaging the parking brake, causing it to roll back and trap her against another vehicle.

It was discovered that TIP Trailer Services regularly allowed vehicles to park on a slope without the provision of any chocks, or similar devices, with no monitoring system in place to ensure drivers applied handbrakes properly.

The company pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, receiving a fine of £500,000 and an extra £56,938 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Elizabeth Hornsby said: "It was common practice for drivers to park on a slope within the compound, which should never have been allowed as it was inevitable that sooner or later a driver would fail to put on their handbrake. 

"This totally avoidable incident could and should have been prevented with nothing more than common sense."

Expert Opinion
This incident is a stark reminder of the importance of following health and safety guidelines within the workplace. In this shocking incident a woman was left with severe and life-changing injuries due to a failure of her employer to follow the health and safety guidance.

“The HSE prosecution found two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and described the incident as totally avoidable. We hope it acts as a reminder to employers to take their responsibility for the health and safety of staff seriously, which means conducting risk assessments and ensuring staff are aware of the measures they must take to prevent accidents in the workplace.”
Stephen Nye, Partner

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