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Haulier may face damages claim after fatal accident

Haulier may face damages claim after fatal accident

The family of a pensioner who died in a fatal accident at work may decide to seek compensation after it was confirmed that his employer's negligence was to blame for his death.

Brian Gutteridge passed away at the age of 67 during an incident at the head office of Berkshire-based haulage firm J Mould (Reading) in Burghfield Bridge in November 2010.

The man - who had worked for the company's owner John Mould for more than 20 years - sustained fatal injuries when he was run over by a tipper truck as he crossed the road between the office and car park at the end of the working day.

An investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established that the vehicle that hit him had pulled over to the side of the road so the driver could speak to a colleague and then pulled away just as Mr Gutteridge stepped out in front of it. 

According to the watchdog, J Mould (Reading) failed to provide members of staff with a safe environment in which to operate, as there were no designated crossing points on the road or set areas to segregate pedestrians from vehicles.

In addition, the company had not carried out a formal workplace transport risk assessment, even though it had been advised to do so previously at another one of its sites nearby.

During a subsequent case heard at Reading Magistrates' Court, proprietor Mr Mould admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

As such, he was fined some £40,000 for his negligence, meaning Mr Gutteridge's family could decide to take legal action against him.

His widow Jennifer said she, her daughter and granddaughter have all been left "devastated" by the incident.

"I have lost my best friend, the man I loved, and I have no-one to talk to and share my memories with," she added.

Contact our accident and injury solicitors on 0800 916 9046 or email if you would like advice on any personal injury matter

Posted by Francesca Witney