Firm fined £200,000 after worker killed by truck in course of employment

by Redmans Solicitors on November 18, 2013

A wood recycling company has been fined £200,000 after a worker was killed after being struck by a lorry in the course of employment and then run over.

Mr Raymond Burns, 43, worked for UK Wood Recycling Limited, a wood recycling company, as a load inspector until the fatal accident on 19 December 2012. On the day in question Mr Burns was working around a large wood pile being used to feed a hammer mill. He moved away from the wood pile to inspect a skip when he was hit and run over by the shovel vehicle which was working on the wood pile. An ambulance was called but Mr Burns died of his injuries at the scene.

The Health and Safety Executive were informed of the accident and subsequently commenced an investigation into the matter. This investigation found that the company had failed to put in place any measures to segregate the movement of vehicles and pedestrians working on the site. It therefore recommended that a prosecution of the company take place for health and safety breaches.

The case came before the Teesside Crown Court on 12 November 2013. The court was told that the firm had failed to erect physical barriers to segregate pedestrian and vehicle traffic, despite a number of vehicle crashes and reports of near misses of pedestrians. UK Wood Recycling Limited pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and was consequently fined £200,000 as well as being ordered to pay £34,000 towards the costs of the prosecution.

Neither UK Wood Recycling Limited nor its criminal defence solicitors appear to have commented on the judgment after the court hearing.

After the judgment HR Inspector Mr Bruno Porter stated: “This was an entirely preventable death caused by the company failing to have a system to allow vehicles and pedestrians to move safely around each other. Ideally, this segregation is achieved by the vehicles and pedestrians having separate traffic routes.  If they share a route or area then physical barriers should be used to keep them apart, or other means of preventing moving vehicles and people being in the same place at the same time.”

Chris Hadrill, a solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Businesses have a responsibility to ensure that they take reasonably practicable steps to ensure that their employees’ health, safety and welfare is protected. In this instance this business failed to do so and this tragically resulted in the death of a worker.”

Redmans are employment solicitors in Richmond and can help injured employees claim personal injury if they’ve been involved in an accident at work

Redmans Solicitors

Redmans Solicitors

Commercial law, employment law and litigation firm based in Richmond, London
Redmans Solicitors

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