Monday 18 November 2013

Failure to control site vehicle operations results in death

An employee of UK Wood Recycling Ltd., was killed after being struck by a loading vehicle.
The circumstances were:
  • No segregation measures had been put in place by UK Wood Recycling Ltd to separate vehicles and pedestrians working on the site. 
  • Workers were unprotected from the dangers of constantly moving vehicles, despite previous incidents where vehicles had collided, and workers reporting other near misses.
  • On 19 December 2008 Raymond Burns had been working around a large wood pile being used to feed a hammer mill where the wood was smashed to chips. 
  • The shovel vehicle was moving material from one part of the site to another. 
  • As he crossed to a skip, Mr Burns was struck and run over by the load shovel and died of his injuries at the scene.

UK Wood Recycling Ltd  was fined £234,000 (inc. costs) on 12th November 2013. 
The HSE Inspector said: 
“A conscientious and hard-working man has lost his life in this senseless way.  There was simply an acceptance by UK Wood Recycling Ltd of the established working pattern.  Solely relying on drivers or workers noticing each other is not adequate control. This was an entirely preventable death caused by the company failing to have a system to allow vehicles and pedestrians to move safely around each other. Ideally, this segregation is achieved by the vehicles and pedestrians having separate traffic routes.  If they share a route or area then physical barriers should be used to keep them apart, or other means of preventing moving vehicles and people being in the same place at the same time. The waste industry has a very high injury rate, and most of the fatal and major injuries relate to transport issues. The risks of serious injury and, all too frequently, death, resulting from the failure to control the safe movement of vehicles and pedestrians are widely recognised.”

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