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June 29, 2022

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Transport company fined £850,000 for failings that led to man’s death

A Leeds based company has been fined £850,000 after an employee sustained fatal injuries while undergoing training.

Hermes Parcelnet Limited pled guilty to health and safety breaches committed between 1 August 2018 and 19 March 2019 at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

The court heard that at around 10.15pm on 19 March 2019 at the company’s Eurocentral depot David Kennedy sustained crush injuries while undergoing training on the operation of a trailer mover.

Mr Kennedy was struck in the chest by the tiller head of the mover and pinned against a stationary trailer while using it to reposition a laden articulated trailer within the depot yard.

The 43-year-old was taken to hospital but died of his injuries two days later.

The HSE investigation found that the company failed to ensure that their in-house trainer at Eurocentral was given enough instruction on how training should be delivered. No one on-site monitored whether the appropriate training was taking place.

The company’s training plan set out that towing a trailer should not take place until the second hour of the training. Mr Kennedy started his practical training around 30 minutes before the incident occurred. ln that time he was already involved in moving a laden trailer with the mover.

The company also failed to ensure that the trainer used two trained banksmen at all relevant times in the course of training. The trainer was at times in a position where it is unlikely that he would have been able to see and correct any mistakes.

Soon after the incident the company removed all trailer movers from service across its UK sites.

Alistair Duncan, Head of the Health and Safety Investigation Unit of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, said: “David Kennedy lost his life in circumstances which were foreseeable and entirely avoidable. By failing to identify the risks arising from providing training to employees in the operation of a trailer mover Hermes Parcelnet Limited put their employees at unacceptable risk.

“This prosecution should remind other employers that failing to keep their employees safe can have fatal consequences and they will be held accountable for this failure. Our thoughts are with Mr Kennedy’s family at this difficult time.”

When SHP met Louis Theroux…

The Safety & Health Podcast brings you the full recording of Louis Theroux’s keynote session at Safety & Health Expo.

Louis sat down with SHP Editor Ian Hart, in front of a packed Keynote Theatre audience, to discuss all things, from communicating effectively and working in hostile to health and health and wellbeing.

Louis Theroux Safety & Health Podcast

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Ernie Taylor
Ernie Taylor
1 month ago

Being good (effective and safe) in carrying out a work activity does not make an individual a good trainer/instructor. The delivery of training (to others) is a process that is first learnt and then mastered. Employers who appoint others to the role of Instructor/Trainer have a clear responsibility to ensure the competence of their proposed trainers. Thereafter Managers for the Employer must monitor the standard of training that is provided, be it through in-house assessment or verification and certification though third party service providers. This wholly unnecessary loss of a life is reflected in the fine handed down – but… Read more »