An Edinburgh based pharmaceutical company has recently appeared in Edinburgh Sheriff Court, where it pled guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of an employee who was crushed by a reversing lorry.
The incident occurred in September 2011, at the company’s premises on Wheatfield Road in Edinburgh. The employee in question was attempting to signal a reversing lorry into a loading bay. The driver did not see him as he was focused on another individual who was signalling the lorry in, and as a result the unseen employee was crushed between the lorry and the loading bay wall.
He was found to have suffered severe crush injuries to his head, face, and chest, but fortunately has since made a full recovery.
The case was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found that no suitable and sufficient risk assessment had been carried out for the task, that there was no safe system of work and that the loading bay area was not kept clear and free from obstructions.
The HSE concluded that the accident could have been avoided had reasonably practicable precautions been taken, including identifying a safe position for banking activities to be taken where there could be visual contact between the banksman and driver at all times.
The company pled guilty to contraventions of Section 2(1) and Section 33(1)(a) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £12,000.
"This was an entirely avoidable accident which resulted in the severe injury of an employee that has thankfully had no long lasting effect,” commented Gary Aitken, Head of the COPFS Health & Safety Division.
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