Wednesday 11 December 2013

Death occurred due to reversing lorry in yard

Mapei UK Limited, one of the world’s largest producers of adhesives for the construction industry, has been fined £173,332. + costs after a worker died when he was pinned against a forklift truck by a reversing lorry in Halesowen.
The circumstances were:
  • In the yard where the accident occurred,  Mapei had failed to segregate pedestrians and vehicles adequately in order to organise, supervise, manage and run their transport yard.
  • The yard did not have defined traffic routes or walkways, there were no ground markings and the yard was open with no physical restrictions on movement.
  • A system was in place to restrict vehicle movement whereby all drivers handed in their vehicle keys on arrival, but this didn’t apply to all vehicles. 
  • Mapei UK Ltd considered the transport area a low priority in terms of risk, despite previous independent safety reports telling them the opposite.
  • Andrew Davies had been asked to empty a machine, using a forklift truck to move a skip and then empty the contents of the skip into a bag that was held within a cage.
  • A lorry driver was asked to move his vehicle by another driver so they could access the loading area.  The system did not require him to hand his keys in, meaning he did not have to seek Mapei UK Ltd’s authority or assistance when moving his vehicle.
  • Around the same time, Mr Davies had left the cab of his forklift truck and moved to the front of the forklift truck.
  • The lorry driver reversed the 18-tonne rigid-back truck, unknowingly pinning Mr Davies between the back of the lorry and the cage which was resting on the forks of his forklift truck. His head was impaled against the forks, killing him instantly.

The HSE inspector said:
“Numerous health and safety failings by Mapei UK Ltd led to this tragic incident in which Mr Davies needlessly lost his life. The dangers associated with vehicle movements are obvious and have been highlighted by HSE for many years. There were long-term, systematic failings by the company to adequately assess the risks and take sufficient control measures to ensure the transport yard was operated without posing a risk to the safety of those working there. Since Mr Davies’ death, Mapei UK Ltd has implemented more effective controls of vehicle movements, limiting movements to one vehicle at a time and installing a traffic marshal to supervise vehicle manoeuvres. The operation which Mr Davies was carrying out is also now done away from other vehicles.”

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