Hauliers fined after segregation failings left worker paralysed

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Two haulage companies have been fined a total of £250,000 after an HGV driver was crushed between two lorries in a “horrific” incident that left him paralysed from the chest down.

The 51-year-old Cambridgeshire man, who does not wish to be named, was closing the rear doors of his HGV when another lorry reversed into him, pinning him against his vehicle.

As well as his paralysis, he suffered a brain injury which has affected his sight and has lost most of the use of his arms. He will never be able to work again.

HSE’s investigation found that his employer, H&M Distribution, which was renting the site in Sandy, Bedfordshire, from HE Payne Transport, had no documented procedure for vehicle movements in the transport yard.

An improvement notice was served on both companies requiring them to organise movements in the yard so pedestrians and vehicles could circulate in a safe manner.

The court heard on 29 July that before setting out on a delivery, the driver pulled his loaded HGV away from the loading bay so he could close the rear doors. As he was doing so, a curtain-sided lorry reversed alongside the bay into the area he was working in, crushing him between the two vehicles.

“This was a horrific and entirely preventable injury caused by the shared failure of both companies to recognise the hazards arising from loading operations at the transport yard and their duty to protect the people working there,” said HSE inspector Emma Rowlands. “Our investigation found that there was no documented procedure which allowed workplace transport and pedestrians to circulate the site in safety, and a dangerous lack of segregation between vehicles and workers on foot.”

Merseyside-based H&M Distribution Ltd was fined a total of £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,996 after pleading guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

HE Payne Transport Ltd of Wyboston, Bedfordshire, was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,996 after pleading guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the same legislation.



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