Juicy Financial Sanction For Transport Business After Colleague Run Over

In mid-May, 2023 industry enforcement arm the Health and Safety Executive handed down a financial sanction in the amount of approximately three million pounds to two businesses specializing in the provision of commercial transportation services in the wake of an incident that had taken place in a workplace owned by one of the businesses whereby a member of the workforce from the male demographic providing his services as in Assistant Management position collided with a lorry. The incident did not appear to have ended well for the member of the workforce. He failed to make a full recovery from the injuries he had sustained in the impact when the large lorry collided with his person and lost his life as a result.     

What Happened In The Case?

At the time of the incident, the member of the workforce had been employed as an Assistant Management and carrying out his day-to-day working responsibilities. All appeared to have been progressing without incident until matters deteriorated quickly when a large commercial lorry operating in the nearby vicinity of the Assistant Manager appears to have moved in a reverse direction from a place in the workplace reserved for the parking of vehicles and collided with the workforce member positioned in the working environment.     

What Did The Health and Safety Executive Say?

On receiving notification of the circumstances surrounding the accident the industry regulator the Health and Safety Executive appears to have felt under an obligation to open a probe to find out what had been going on when the incident took place in the workplace operated by the business on that fateful day. When the authorities did so it uncovered evidence that appeared to demonstrate that the commercial businesses specializing in the provision of services of a transportation nature had neglected their professional obligations, duties, and responsibilities to mitigate the likelihood of injuries being inflicted on members of the workforce via the use of commercial vehicles being operated for working purposes.  

Feet to the Fire?

Eventually, the case was heard in the courts specializing in the field of criminal and to its credit those representing the first business involved in the case entered admissions to charges that it had violated sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which places obligations upon businesses of this nature employing members of the workforce to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of staff and in addition the wider public. Due to the seriousness of what had taken place, the court handed down a financial sanction in an amount just shy of two million pounds to stand as a deterrent to other similar businesses operating commercial vehicles in the vicinity of the workplace. A second business involved in the incident admitted contravening the same pieces of legislation and was handed down a sanction of just over one-quarter-of-a-million pounds. 

Lessons Learned?

Organizations using large lorries in the workplaces need to be taking on board the lessons from this case by taking the following action: 
-    separating those operating vehicles from those working via shanks pony on foot
-    keeping a proper lookout when driving commercial vehicles in a reverse direction
-    communicating with staff to alert persons in the vicinity of their presence and
-    Provide oversight to ensure that the likelihood of risks from a health and safety perspective is mitigated. 
If you have experienced something similar, or have an opposing viewpoint, please kindly leave a comment on the article or contact us.   
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