• Robert Spicer

Derby crushing death: three companies fined

Crushing death: three companies fined

Health and Safety Executive v Punchards Haulage Limited, VTK Structures Ltd and Hanson Packed Products Limited (2015) Derby Crown Court, December 10

Three companies have been fined following the death of a worker by crushing.

Significant points of the case

  • In January 2011 Travis Hale, a driver employed by Punchards, went to Hanson’s premises in Derby to collect a trailer loaded with four concrete panels. The panels had been designed by VTK and manufactured by Hanson. The load was secured to the trailer with three vehicle straps supplied by Punchards.

  • Hale was asked to check his load. He was joined by employees of VTK who advised him to fit more straps. When he undid a strap, a panel weighing one and half tons fell onto him, causing fatal crushing injuries.

  • The number of straps were not adequate to secure the load safely for transport. All three companies should have cooperated to ensure that a safer means of securing concrete panels on the trailer were used.

Punchards Hauling Limited was fined £140,000 plus £37,000 costs for a breach of section 2, HSW Act, for failing to ensure the health and safety of employees.

VTK Structures Limited was fined £140,000 plus £37,000 under section 3, HSW Act, for failing to ensure the health and safety of non-employees.

Hanson Packed Products Limited was fined £80,000 plus £37,000 costs under regulation 3, Management of Health and Safety At Work Regulations 1999, for failing to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.

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