Tuffnells Parcel Express Ltd has been fined £1.5 million after a driver died after becoming trapped between a trailer and his vehicle.
Dudley Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 22 January 2016, a Tuffnells employee was fatally injured while attempting to attach a trailer to his vehicle. The trailer was parked upon a slight slope, which was enough to allow it to roll forward trapping the employee.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found safety management arrangements for coupling trailers to vehicles failed to take account of the slope.
Tuffnells, of Wallows Industrial Estate, Dudley, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. In addition to the fine, the company was ordered to pay costs of more than £32,800.
HSE inspector Karl Raw said: “Had Tuffnells taken the slope into account, simple measures could have been taken that would have prevented this incident. Workplace transport remains a high risk environment, and this case serves as a reminder to industry that assessments of sites should be specific and identify the hazards unique to each yard. It is also a reminder that the slope a vehicle is parked on does not need to be steep for incidents to occur.
“This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to adopt robust management action in both planning and monitoring of the workplace and workplace actions at this site.”