25 April 2013
Family could launch legal action after lorry crush ruling
Two companies that were fined for failing to implement safety measures that could have saved a man's life could have legal action launched against them.
Father-of-three, Gary Walters, 51, was working for Gloucester haulier Larkins Logistics when his fatal accident occurred.
Mr Walters - an experienced driver - was collecting a trailer that was full of structural concrete from Bison Manufacturing in Derbyshire. The haulier failed to apply his lorry's handbrake when he got out, something that caused the cab and its trailer to start to roll forward.
It is unknown exactly what happened to cause Mr Walters' death, but Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors believe that the driver tried to re-enter his cab in an effort to stop the vehicle but was instead hit, and subsequently run over by, the cab.
He died of multiple, severe injuries.
HSE investigators later found that it was common practice for Bison Manufacturing workers to fail to apply brakes to trailers that were being loaded - something that led to a full police investigation that found ten other trailers on the site also hadn't had their brakes applied.
Bison Manufacturing's multiple, repeated failures to train its staff in proper health and safety practices meant that they were fined £233,000 and ordered to pay £21,341 in costs.
Mr Walters' employers, Larkins Logistics, was also found to have failed to train its staff to engage their cabs' handbrakes. Health and safety infractions related to these failings cost the company £350,000 in fines and £23,317 in costs.
HSE inspector Judith McNulty-Green said: "Bison Manufacturing Ltd failed to implement a safe system of work for the storage of trailers with the brakes applied. They and Larkins Logistics Ltd also failed to implement and monitor working procedures for coupling and uncoupling trailers in the yard, and they failed to do it despite previous incidents."
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Posted by Francesca Whitney