Worker’s leg crushed by HGV at depot18 September 2012
A haulage firm in Scotland has admitted failing to put measures in place to separate vehicles and pedestrians prior to an incident in which a worker was run over by a heavy-goods vehicle.
Ian Mackie, 43, was working for R & J Milne Ltd at its haulage yard in Norwood, Turriff when the incident took place on 12 November 2010. He was one of a team of five drivers who were cleaning vehicles in a wash-bay area.
Once the team had finished cleaning the driving unit of an HGV, Mr Mackie began talking to a colleague at the front near-side of the vehicle, when the driver entered the cab and began to pull out of the wash bay. As the vehicle turned left, it struck Mr Mackie, who fell into his colleague and both men were knocked to the ground. One of the front wheels drove over Mr Mackie’s right leg and foot. Another worker raised the alarm and the vehicle was reversed off Mr Mackie. He suffered broken bones in his foot, a fractured pelvis, and cracked ribs.
In hospital for 13 weeks, he needed a metal plate inserted into his pelvis, a skin graft and the removal of soft tissue in his leg. He was unable to return to work for five months and still suffers numbness and pain in his leg. The other worker who fell to the ground was uninjured.
The HSE investigated the incident and identified that the firm had failed to organise a system to control vehicle movements in the wash-bay area, and there was nothing in place to separate pedestrians from moving vehicles.
The HSE issued an Improvement Notice, which required the company to carry out a risk assessment to identify the control measures for vehicle movements on the site.
HSE inspector Joanne Nicholls said: “The risks associated with workplace transport are well known and R & J Milne Ltd should have carried out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to identify appropriate safety measures.
“A safe system of work would have ensured that if pedestrians were present, vehicles would not be allowed to enter or move in the same area. Other measures could have included specific pedestrian zones, stop boards in front of lorries and a key-safe system.
“As no such measures had been identified or implemented, two men's lives were needlessly put at risk.”
R & J Milne appeared at Banff Sheriff Court on 13 September and pleaded guilty to breaching s2(1) of the HSWA 1974. It was fined £20,000. No costs are awarded in Scotland.
In mitigation, the company said it cooperated with the enforcement notice by installing barriers to create a waiting area for pedestrians at the rear of the wash bay. Workers are now monitored to ensure they are in the safe zone before vehicles are allowed to move.
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