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25th May 2022

Two West Yorkshire Companies Prosecuted After Falling Pallets

What’s Happened?

Two West Yorkshire businesses have recently been fined for health and safety breaches after a HGV driver suffered a fracture to one of his neck vertebrae.

On the day of the incident, the delivery driver (an employee of Brighouse Pallet Services Ltd) was working at the Elland site when he was struck by falling pallets. The Pallets were being unloaded from a HGV trailer by a fork-lift truck (FLT) operator employed by another business – Seal It Services Ltd

HSE Investigation

An investigation was undertaken by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which found that both companies failed in their duty to provide a safe system of work. They failed to put in place simple control measures to ensure that all delivery drivers who visited the site were moved to a safe location for waiting (or told to stay in their cab), whilst HGV trailers were being unloaded by FLTs.

Appearing at Leeds Magistrates’ Court, Brighouse Pallet Services Ltd of Elland Road, Brighouse, West Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £4806.60 in costs.

Seal It Services Ltd of Riverbank Way, Elland, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £50,000  and ordered to pay £4,654.90 in costs.

After the court hearing, the HSE inspector involved in the case, said: “Loading and unloading of HGVs by FLTs are among the most dangerous transport activities in the workplace. People can by hit by falling objects, struck by FLTs, or fall from vehicles.

“All such incidents can result in serious personal injury and the risks involved must be managed by all those who have legal duties for the safety of delivery drivers, both their employer and the sites they deliver to.

“This incident could so easily have been avoided by implementing the simple control measure of keeping the delivery driver out of the area where the FLT was operating to maintain a safe system of work.”

If you are a client and have any queries regarding workplace transport or loading/unloading risk assessments then call our adviceline today on 0300 303 5228.

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