Friday, July 24, 2015

Industries Peripheral to Road Haulage and Freight Transport Must Watch Health and Safety

Accident Highlights the Dangers of Unsecured Loads
Shipping News Feature

UK – A recent case serves as a reminder to those on the periphery of the road haulage business that all must be constantly aware of the need to employ proper Health and Safety practices in an industry required to work with the heavy, potentially dangerous materials which form the components of a freight transport business. An HGV spray painting company has been fined for safety failings that led to a worker sustaining a serious fracture to his left leg. An employee of Paintshop Northern Limited suffered the injury when a vehicle suspension arm being moved by fork lift truck fell and landed on his leg.

Bradford Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 6 June 2014, the employee was assisting a work colleague who was operating the truck to transport two 370 Kg suspension arms that had just been spray painted. Both of the suspension arms were hanging down from the forks of the truck near the tips, which had been raised to a height of 2 metres to allow the spray painting to be done. After the hearing, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Inspector David Welsh said:

“This employee had a serious injury that could have been far worse as a result of this company’s numerous failures. The whole operation using the fork lift truck to lift heavy materials in an unconventional way was unsafe from start to finish. The load carried needed to be secured to the truck and proper supervision in place to ensure that it was lowered to the ground in a safe way. The injury to this worker was entirely preventable.”

Neither of the two suspension arms had been secured to the forks of the truck by means of chains or slings. The worker on the factory floor was trying to assist the truck operator to get the painted suspension arms off the forks when one of them fell off knocking him over and fracturing his leg.

Paintshop Northern Limited of Commondale Way, Bradford was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive and fined a total of £4,000, and ordered to pay £991 in costs after pleading guilty to an offence under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.