Life-changing injury after being crushed

Volvo Group UK Ltd. has been fined after an employee was crushed by a truck, leading to serious injury. Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that an employee of Volvo Group UK Limited was testing the brakes of a low-loader truck unit and trailer at the Cardonald Depot in Glasgow. The employee had raised the trailer off the ground using a pit jack. He did not apply the truck handbrake or use any wheel chocks to prevent the vehicle rolling. Whilst adjusting the brakes at the first axle, the truck unit rolled forward causing the jack to slip off the axle of the trailer and then roll towards him and strike him on the body. He was crushed against a set of steps in the pit; leading to a fractured spine.

Investigation by HSE Inspectors found that Volvo Group UK Limited had failed to provide a sufficient number of wheel chocks for use by its employees and failed to provide information, instruction, training and supervision of its employees in the safe use of vehicle jacks, axle stands and vehicle chocks. Volvo Group Ltd. also failed to provide a suitable induction of the employee in safe working practices. Such work equipment (vehicle jacks, axle stands etc.) are widely used in the MVR sector and at other places of work involving inspection, maintenance and repair of mobile plant and vehicles.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Jennie Stafford said:

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.” She went on to say; “If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

Volvo Group UK Limited, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 and Section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (the Act) and was fined £13,333.33.

Note: Section 2(1) of the Act deals with the duty on all employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable the health and safety of their employees whilst at work. Section 33(1)(a) establishes that it is an offence for a person to fail to discharge a duty to which he is subject by virtue of Section 2 through to Section 7 of the Act. All employers should provide to their employees suitable site induction. This induction must cover in sufficient detail the information and instruction that all employees will need so as to be able to work safely and to deal with Health & Safety issues or concerns that may arise. Inductions should be a site-specific process.

For Health and Safety matters, Lawgistics Members can utilise HR Manager, an easy to understand, simple to use piece of software that enables you to manage all aspects of HR, Employment Law, Health and Safety and GDPR compliance for your business. HR Manager is FREE and available to all Lawgistics members or call 01480 455500 to discuss your H&S issues.

 

Authors: Ernie Taylor

Published: 02 Sep 2019

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