Howden Joinery fined £1.2m after agency driver Richard Brown fatally crushed
source url Howden Joinery, the national manufacturer and supplier of fitted kitchens, appliances and joinery products has been fined £1.2 million after the death of a visiting HGV driver at one of the company’s premises.
Carlisle Crown Court heard how Richard Brown, a 48 year old agency driver, was delivering kitchen worktops to a Howden Joinery Ltd site in Workington when he was crushed to death as a forklift truck (FLT) overturned whilst lifting kitchen worktops from the trailer of the HGV.
An investigation into the incident that took place on 10 November 2014 found the FLT had been overloaded and that visiting delivery drivers were not kept at a safe distance from the loading and unloading operations.
The court heard how the driver of the FLT had shouted to Mr Brown when it began to topple. Jonathan Rogers, prosecuting said the driver “tried to intervene to try to move in front of the load, maybe to stop it from falling.
“The load crushed him against the side of his lorry.”
The load’s combined weight was 2.2 tonnes.
Howden Joinery Ltd of Portman Square, London pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The company was fined £1.2 million and ordered to pay costs of £33,902.00.
“Standing too close to where loading or unloading work is being carried out can put people in harm’s way so people, such as delivery drivers, should be in a position of safety when forklift trucks are operating.
“This tragic incident could have been avoided if Howden Joinery Ltd had implemented a safe procedure to ensure that pedestrians were kept at a safe distance during loading and unloading work.
“Duty holders should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
WHO WE ARE
HSE International Magazine is the leading independent publication in corporate responsibility, health, safety and environmental practice, covering every industry and business sector worldwide.
We provide you with the latest news, views, legislative changes, industry awards coverage and comment from individuals and organisations at the forefront of successful health, safety and occupational risk management.