An employee of DHL Services Limited (DHL) was auditing in-coming deliveries of equipment, in an outside yard at JCB World Headquarters, when he was struck from behind by falling machinery. At the time of the incident the machinery was being towed by an electric tug, and weighed approximately 770kg. The trolley toppled on its side trapping the DHL employee between it and a stillage. He suffered multiple serious injuries including fractures and internal injuries.
A HSE investigation into the incident (which occurred in October 2013) found there were a number of safety failures related to this auditing activity, and the segregation between employees and vehicles using this area, leading to an unsafe system of work. In addition to the injured worker, the investigation also identified that employees of JC Bamford Excavators Ltd routinely accessed this area as pedestrians when vehicles were operating.
DHL Services Limited, of Milton Keynes, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £266,000 plus costs of £23,370.22.
J C Bamford Excavators Limited, of Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £375,000 plus costs of £37,235.42.
HSE Inspector David Brassington said after the hearing, “The dangers of failing to provide effective segregation between pedestrians and vehicles are well known. Both of these companies were well versed in transport risk management, and both fell well below the required standard, in ensuring that such risks were effectively managed in this area. These failings allowed a pedestrian worker into a busy area, where vehicles were coming and going, and as a result the worker sustained serious injuries from which he has still not recovered.”
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