04 December, 2018
Tuffnells Parcels Express Ltd has been fined after a lorry driver was fatally crushed against his vehicle by a trailer as he was attempting to couple it. The vehicle was loaded with parcels and parked on a 3° slope at a depot. As a result, the trailer rolled forward and trapped the employee between it and the rear of the vehicle. The health and safety arrangements had failed to take into account the slope.
Tuffnells Parcels Express Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974. The company has been fined £1.5 million and ordered to pay costs of £32,823.35.
A generic risk assessment had been prepared by the company for this activity, but it had not been adapted to meet the specific needs of each depot location. This case highlights that you cannot have a "one size fits all" risk assessment; employers must review and consider site-specific factors. A significant fine in line with the new sentencing guidelines which are based on turnover, culpability and category of harm as a starting point for any financial penalty.
Bridgend County Borough Council has been fined following the death of one pupil and injury to another after the pair were involved in a collision with the school minibus. The pupil was crossing the road to catch his bus when he was hit by the school mini bus.
The HSE investigation found the layby created before the school opened in September 2008 was never large enough to accommodate all of the school buses at home time. This had been identified by council officers, but no action had been taken. The school buses had to park on the other side of the road, which had no pavement, leaving children to board in the middle of the road while other vehicles were able to travel in both directions between the waiting buses.
The HSE took enforcement action against Bridgend Council and prohibited children from boarding school buses from the road, and required the Council to modify the bus layby to make it big enough for all children to board their bus from the pavement.
Bridgend County Borough Council pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £29,228.
This is a tragic case, which could have been prevented. We understand that there had previous near misses but no steps had been taken to rectify the system. It is imperative that schools review traffic arrangements within their grounds, and where possible design layouts so pupils are separated from moving traffic.
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