Informa Markets

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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
November 11, 2010

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Worker crushed after unsecured delivery fell off lorry

A Warwick bathroom firm has admitted it failed to provide training and a safe system of work for unloading lorries after a worker suffered crush injuries.

On 9 February, Quoba Ltd employee Daniel Groves was helping to unload shower enclosures from a lorry at the firm’s warehouse in Hermes Court, Warwick. The enclosures, which varied in size and weighed between 25kg and 50kg, were attached to wooden pallets with shrink wrap. The lorry driver cut away the wrapping and began passing the boxed enclosures down to Mr Groves who was stood on the ground.

As the driver removed the shrink wrap, several enclosures fell off one of the pallets and landed on Mr Groves. He put his hands up to protect himself from the falling load but was knocked over and trapped underneath the boxes. A colleague freed Mr Groves who was taken to hospital where he received treatment for damaged ligaments in his wrists. He was unable to return to work for a month owing to his injuries.

Police attended the scene and reported the incident to Warwick District Council. An environmental health officer from the council visited the site the following day and issued an Improvement Notice, which required Quoba to carry out a risk assessment and introduce a safe system of work for unloading lorries. The investigation also found staff had not received training on how to safely unload deliveries from lorries.

Quoba appeared in front of Leamington Spa Magistrates on 21 October and pleaded guilty to breaching s2(1) of the HSWA 1974 and reg. 3(1)(a) of the MHSWR 1999. It was fined a total of £4000 and ordered to pay £2500 in costs.

The firm had no previous convictions and co-operated with the council’s investigation. It has subsequently introduced a safe system of work, which requires all deliveries to be made by lorries that have a tail lift. A forklift truck is then used to transfer the pallets on to the ground from the tail lift so the boxes can be unloaded at ground height. The company has also provided staff with the required training.

Warwick District Council portfolio holder of the environment, councillor Michael Coker, said: “It’s clearly foreseeable that heavy items falling from height can result in life-threatening injuries. This incident would have been prevented if the company had put in place an effective safety management system, including the need to use manual-handling devices, and to provide training in safe working methods.”

Approaches to managing the risks associated Musculoskeletal disorders

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from Matt Birtles, Principal Ergonomics Consultant at HSE’s Science and Research Centre, about the different approaches to managing the risks associated with Musculoskeletal disorders.

Matt, an ergonomics and human factors expert, shares his thoughts on why MSDs are important, the various prevalent rates across the UK, what you can do within your own organisation and the Risk Management process surrounding MSD’s.

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13 years ago

Another example of lack of common sense. Leaving heavy objects to balance without being secured is an accident waiting to happen.

13 years ago

How can this firm get a £4k fine when a worker only suffered a sore wrist and yet companies that seriously injure workers get smaller fines? There needs to be some consistency in the courts in terms of sentencing. =