HGV death leads to almost half million pound fine

A truck company that buys, refurbishes and sells Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and trailers has been sentenced after the death of 63-year-old self-employed worker William Price.

On 21 February 2013 Mr Price suffered fatal head injuries when the half-ton frame of a lorry trailer, he was dismantling, fell on his head at the Marston Industrial Estate site. He was cutting the superstructure off a curtain sided trailer to create a flat bed trailer.

The HSE found the company had previously undertaken this task; it had been carried out by its own employees and had an established method in place. However, the Company failed to properly consider the risks involved in this work and did not provide any information in relation to his safety when ‘stripping down’ the trailers.

The task was being carried out at the firms’ premises and on a trailer they had bought therefore the firm should have had a written risk assessment for the procedure. The work was essential to the activities of the company; they sold the resultant flatbed trailers.

ATE Truck and Trailer Services Ltd of Boundary Industrial Estate, Wolverhampton admitted the failing to make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment with regard to the task. They pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The company was fined £475,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000.

The judge said “The requirement of a risk assessment in circumstancnes like these is not just good practice but a fundamental and mandatory legal requirement.

This was a plainly hazardous activity.”

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