Delivery driver suffers brain injury on first day of work
28 February 2019
A distribution company based in Warrington has today been sentenced after an agency worker sustained serious, life-changing injuries whilst working in Cheltenham.
Cheltenham Magistrate’s Court heard how, on 18 May 2017, a 27-year-old agency worker arrived at the Gloucester depot to begin his first day of work with the company as a multi-drop delivery driver. After a brief induction process, the worker delivered his first drop successfully however the address provided for the second drop was incorrect and therefore a delivery of 12 beer kegs was not made.
When on his next delivery, the worker used a pallet truck to manoeuvre the beer on the lorry to gain access to the next load on his list. He fell backwards from the raised tail lift onto the road and several kegs of beer fell and struck him. The worker suffered serious injuries including a traumatic brain injury and facial fractures requiring metal plates to be inserted into his skull.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the worker had no previous experience in using the type of pallet truck or tail lift involved in the incident. He was not given any practical training in the safe use of this machinery, nor was he made aware of safe working practices on how the pallet truck should be used on a tail lift. H&M Distribution, as an employer, failed in its duty to carry out checks on the injured person’s competence and previous experience. As a consequence of their failure to make these checks, they did not provide adequate training.
H&M Distribution of Newton Le Willows, Warrington pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Regulation 1974. It has been fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,203.14.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Berenice Ray said: “Employers who use agency workers or contractors have a responsibility to firstly establish the workers’ competence, taking into account their level of experience and familiarity with the work and work equipment, and then provide the appropriate level of training to ensure the work is done safely. If appropriate training had been provided, the life-changing injuries sustained by the agency worker could have been prevented.”
Awareness and action
For practical solutions to common safety problems, check out the Safer Logistics Zone at the Health & Safety Event, which takes place from April 9-11 at the NEC in Birmingham. Toyota Material Handling UK is the sponsor of Safer Logistics.
The seminar programme includes presentations on:
Driver Health: Asking the awkward questions
HGV drivers can face sleep, fatigue, drug, and alcohol problems among a wide range of driver health issues. This presentation gives managers the tools to develop a proactive approach to tackling the problem.
Andrew Drewary, road risk consultant, the Logistics Safety Forum of The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT)
The importance of taking responsibility for lifting equipment maintenance
The recent collapse of a crane at Falmouth docks was not a one-off, says the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA). It shows the absolute necessity of implementing a strict maintenance regime for all logistics and industrial cranes and lifting equipment. Here, LEEA illustrates the importance of monitoring crane design working periods.
Ricardo German, Technical Assistant, The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA)
Rack safety - can you afford to risk everything?
Cutting corners on rack safety can cost millions, a life, or your freedom.
Jonathan Bennett, chair SEMA Distributor Group, and Simon King, ex-chair of SEMA Distributor Group
Forklift accidents: 10 common causes, 1 recurring theme
Stuart Taylor breaks down ten common causes of forklift accidents and reveals the theme that links them all. You’ll be given practical tips that can be easily applied on your site to significantly reduce the risk of accidents at a relatively low cost, keeping you compliant while retaining profitability.
Stuart Taylor, managing director of Mentor Training, on behalf of the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA)
Forklift training myths – are you wasting money?
RTITB discusses the common forklift training myths many employers are making which could be costing them money in unnecessary training. The discussion will identify where employers are wasting money on unnecessary operator training and explore when forklift training is essential to ensure that delegates leave with methods to achieve safety, compliance and reduced costs in their business.
Laura Nelson, Managing Director, RTITB
Toyota Material Handling UK is the sponsor of Safer Logistics.