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Logistics company fined after death of worker

A logistics company has been fined after a worker died when he became trapped between his vehicle and a trailer.

Dudley Magistrates’ Court heard how on 22nd January 2016, an employee of Tuffnells Parcels Express Limited was fatally injured when he was trying to attach a trailer to his vehicle. The Trailer was parked on a slight slope which was enough to allow it to roll forward and trap the employee.

The accident was followed by an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and it was discovered that safety management arrangements for coupling trailers to vehicles failed to take the slope into account, and this led to the accident.

Tuffnells Parcels Express Ltd of Wallows Industrial Estate, Dudley pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was then fined £1.5 million and ordered to pay costs of £32, 823.35.

Speaking to the HSE after the hearing, HSE inspector Karl Raw said:

“Had Tuffnells taken the slope into account, simple measures could have been taken that would have prevented this incident. Workplace transport remains a high-risk environment, and this case serves as a reminder to industry that assessments of sites should be specific and identify the hazards unique to each yard. It is also a reminder that the slope a vehicle is parked on does not need to be steep for incidents to occur”

“This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to adopt robust management action in both planning and monitoring of the workplace and workplace actions at this site.”