Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Company fined over £8,000 for allowing workers to climb over HGV trailers

Boden & Davies Ltd., was fined £8,709 (inc. costs) on 20 June 2014 after allowing its employees to stand on the top of lorry trailers without safety measures in place to prevent a fall.
The circumstances were:
  • Workers climbed onto the top of trailers on several occasions to level the woodchip or if the covering sheet became snagged and could not be rolled out properly.
  • The company provided a built-in working platform at the front of the trailers but this did not comply with health and safety legislation.
  • Boden & Davies failed to provide adequate instructions or training to drivers on how to cover the loads safely.
  • There was no system in place for supervising the work.
  • Workers were also not always able to use the platform to complete the task and had to climb on top of the load instead.
  • They were at risk of falling up to four metres from the trailers onto a concrete yard.

The HSE Inspector said:
“Falls from height are the most common cause of workplace deaths in the UK and the lives of employees at Boden & Davies were put at risk every time they climbed on top of the lorry trailers. The company has since introduced a harness system which means its employees are properly protected when they carry out this work. If this system had been in place sooner then employees would not have been put in danger. It is vital firms take the risks from falls seriously and act now to improve safety rather than waiting for an HSE inspection or – in the worst case scenario – someone to be seriously injured or killed.”

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