Parcel company fined after employee crushed to death

David Kennedy was working a night shift at Hermes’ depot in Motherwell when he was crushed between two trailers. David was being trained by a colleague at the time.

While maneuvering a loaded trailer he walked backwards and became crushed between the arm of the moving trailer and a stationary trailer. He was crushed in the chest, suffering a collapsed lung, multiple rib fractures and significant internal injuries. It happened in March 2019 while he was being trained in the use of a pedestrian-operated trailer mover.

An investigation by the HSE found Hermes had failed to properly plan and assess the risks of training taking place in their yard. They had not implemented their own policy that suitably trained banksmen would be used while trailers were being moved – including during training

Hermes Parcelnet Limited of Capitol Close, Morley, Leeds pleaded guilty on May 23 to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Section 2(1) and Section 33(1)(a) and were fined £850,000. Hermes Parcelnet is now called Evri.

HSE inspector Kim Ross said, “Employers have a responsibility to assess risk, devise safe systems of work and then ensure this is implemented. Had the training for the trailer mover been properly planned and supervised then the death of an employee could have been avoided.”

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