On 21st February 2013, Mr Price had been cutting the superstructure off a curtain-sided trailer to create a flatbed trailer. Mr Price suffered fatal head injuries when he was struck by the half-ton frame. He was found by an ATE employee lying between the trailer and its roof having suffered the fatal injuries. An inquest concluded his death was an accident.
An investigation by the HSE found that ATE had undertaken this task before by its own employees, and had an established method in place. However, it failed to properly consider the risks involved in this work, and did not provide Mr Price with any information in relation to his safety when ‘stripping down’ the trailers.
ATE Truck and Trailer Services Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The company was been fined £475,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000. The company has also paid around £100,000 covering its own legal costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Judith Botwood said, “This tragic accident was preventable had all parties considered the risks involved and taken appropriate measures to reduce that risk.”
Judge Barry Berlin said, “The requirement of a risk assessment in circumstances like these is not just good practice but a fundamental and mandatory legal requirement. This was a plainly hazardous activity.”
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