Informa Markets

Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
November 3, 2010

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

Worker’s death was a result of “dangerous practices”

A major energy support-services company has been fined £120,000 following the death of a worker at its coal-processing plant in Lincolnshire.

Grimsby Crown Court heard that the incident took place on 20 July 2007 at Hargreaves (UK) Services Ltd’s facility in Immingham. Alan Noddle, who worked as a maintenance fitter for Hargreaves’ sister company, Norec Ltd, was repairing a screening plant at the site.

Mr Noddle left his work area and walked across the stockyard to make a cup of tea on the other side of the facility. As he was walking across the stockyard he was run over by a large loading-shovel vehicle, which was being used to transport coal. The driver did not see Mr Noddle because the large bucket on the loading shovel blocked his view. Mr Noddle was killed instantly in the collision.

HSE inspector Geoffrey Clark told SHP there weren’t suitable measures to prevent pedestrians from coming into contact with site traffic. He said: “This is a tragic case, where a man died as a result of dangerous practices at the site. The loading shovel severely obscured the driver’s view, yet despite this it was common practice for employees to be allowed to walk in the area where these machines were being operated.

“Workplace transport is one of the HSE’s priorities, as transport injuries are a major cause of death and injury in the workplace. Although this is an extreme case, I would urge all employers to be aware of the dangers of moving vehicles of all sizes, and to put appropriate measures in place.”

Hargreaves (UK) Services Ltd appeared in court on 29 October and pleaded guilty to breaching s3(1) of the HSWA 1974. In addition to the fine it was ordered to pay £35,000 in costs.

The company has no previous convictions and told the court it took immediate action to prevent a similar incident taking place. It has installed a perimeter fence to create a safe walkway for staff to walk around the stockyard. It has also prohibited all workers at the site from crossing the stockyard and has put up warning signs around the area.

Following the hearing, a company statement said: “Hargreaves wants to repeat our sincere regret at the death of Mr Noddle. He was an experienced member of the workforce and a man who was a highly-valued, popular and well-regarded employee and colleague.
“The circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Noddle have been examined in detail over a significant period of time. Hargreaves, of course, accepts the fine imposed by the court.”

The Safety Conversation Podcast: Listen now!

The Safety Conversation with SHP (previously the Safety and Health Podcast) aims to bring you the latest news, insights and legislation updates in the form of interviews, discussions and panel debates from leading figures within the profession.

Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts, subscribe and join the conversation today!

Related Topics

Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
13 years ago

its a pathetic story. organisations should do everything in its power to ensure safe working condition and promote haelth of its workers.