Monday, 4 May 2015

Sheffield steel company fined £100K after death during lorry unloading

Daver Steels Ltd, a Sheffield steel company was fined £100,000 (inc.costs) after a 42-year-old worker was killed by a three-tonne load of steel tubes. 
The circumstances were:
  • On 6 December 2012 Robert Ismay was delivering two bundles of 7.5-metre-long tubes to Daver Steels.
  • No checks were made by  to see what was to be offloaded or how the load was positioned. 
  • Daver Steels had not assessed the risks involved with loading and unloading.
  • Daver Steels failed to provide direction to workers, leaving them to develop their own practices including choosing how they offloaded, what equipment to use and where offloading took place
  • No safe system of work was in place.
  • The only safe way to unload was to to put the truck in the loading bay and use a crane, which the company had, 
  • The unloading operation was done by forklift truck in the road. 
  • A trained but inexperienced forklift truck driver was then told to lift the steel tubes.
  • Mr Ismay was allowed to remain on the back of the lorry.
  • The forks’ reach was too short so when they were raised, the bundles fell off and struck Mr Ismay.
  • He was pushed off the trailer onto the pavement and was hit and fatally wounded by the bundles of steel tubes as they crashed down behind him. 

The HSE Inspector said:
“Unfortunately, this type of incident is not unique or new. What happened to Robert Ismay was a tragedy that has had devastating consequences for his wife, children and wider family. There was a series of safety failings by Daver Steels in this case. Key was its failure to put in place adequate control measures, which includes the provision of suitable instructions to employees and visiting workers so such tasks could be completed safely. Daver Steels should have taken responsibility for the driver’s safety and the delivery and unloading operation. Companies that receive deliveries to their premises have a duty to ensure that any unloading operation is carried out in a safe manner.” 

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