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CONSTRUCTION HAULIER FINED OVER TIPPER DEATH

Failure to segregate pedestrians and vehicles ended in fatal collision

J Mould (Reading) has been prosecuted after an employee died when he was run over by a tipper lorry at the firms Reading premises. Brian Gutteridge, aged 67, was crossing a road from the main office to a car park when the vehicle struck him on 9 November 2010. He died at the site as a result of the injuries he sustained.

Reading Magistrates heard (14 March) that Mr Gutteridge was walking toward his car at the end of the working day. The tipper lorry had pulled over to the side of the road so the driver could talk to another worker. The lorry then pulled back out as Mr Gutterridge stepped in front of the vehicle to walk past.

HSE investigators found no designated crossing points on the road and nothing to segregate pedestrians and vehicles or guide on who had the right of way. John Mould had no formal workplace transport risk assessment despite being advised by an independent health and safety consultant about pedestrian-vehicle interactions at another site in Reading.

Clear need for a formal traffic management system

John Mould, of Burghfield Bridge, Bucks pleaded guilty breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 in his capacity as a sole trader. He was fined a total of £40,000, the maximum fine magistrates can impose, with costs of £17,060.

fter sentencing HSE Inspector Daniel Hilbourne said:

“John Mould has operated from the Burghfield Bridge site for more than 20 years, but had failed to properly manage workplace transport prior to Brian’s tragic death. This is a well-recognised area of risk in the industry, especially on a site where there are numerous vehicle movements.

There was a clear need for a formal traffic management system, including a designated pedestrian crossing, pedestrian walkways, a speed restriction and a strict rule to wear hi-visibility clothing at all times.

Had vehicle-pedestrian interactions been better controlled and managed then Brian would not have been killed. It demonstrates the need for proper risk assessments, to undertake regular reviews and to be wary of complacency.”

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