January 22, 2018

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In court

Absent vehicle and worker segregation led to death

A Suffolk-based trailer service firm has been fined after an employee suffered fatal head injuries.

Ipswich Crown Court was told how an employee of the defendant was operating a scissor-lift working platform when this was struck by a Long Goods Vehicle (LGV), causing him to be ejected onto a roadway from a height of 1.5 metres.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident, which occurred on 23 January 2015, and found that SPR Trailer Services Limited failed to plan and organise work at height in a manner that ensured the safety of their workers. The work at height should have been organised to segregate activity in space and/or time from adjacent workplace transport operations.

Tragic and wholly avoidable

SPR Trailer Services Limited of 5 Walton Avenue, Felixstowe, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £120,000.

Speaking after the case, HSE Principal Inspector Norman Macritchie said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to implement and monitor safe systems of work.

“The company did not undertake the simple safety measure of segregating those working at height from adjacent workplace transport operations, in line with widely available industry guidance.”

Sleep and Fatigue: Director’s Briefing

Fatigue is common amongst the population, but particularly among those working abnormal hours, and can arise from excessive working time or poorly designed shift patterns. It is also related to workload, in that workers are more easily fatigued if their work is machine-paced, complex or monotonous.

This free director’s briefing contains:

  • Key points;
  • Recommendations for employers;
  • Case law;
  • Legal duties.
Barbour EHS

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