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HIGH FINE AND ALERT FOLLOWS SKIP LORRY DEATH

‘Mis-hooked’ skip triggered vehicle overturn and fatality

Adis Scaffolding Limited has been fined £300,000 after an employee died when a skip lorry overturned in Derbyshire in 2008. David Vickers, aged 37, was tipping a skip at the company site when the incident occurred.

Derby Crown Court heard (7 June) that Mr Vickers exited the cab of the truck he was driving to deploy the stabilising rear outriggers before raising a skip using the lifting arms. During this operation the vehicle overturned and landed on top of him. He died at the scene.

HSE investigators found the skip was ‘mis-hooked’. The hooks engaged on the lip of a base plate rather than a catch bar. The vehicle tipped normally until reaching an angle of approximately 70 degrees when it broke free and swung out backwards causing the front of the vehicle to lift several feet off the ground. During the course of tipping the offside outrigger retracted causing the lorry to tip over.

There was no safe system of work for the skip operation, including how to handle mis-hooks and other foreseeable problems; inadequate training and instruction; skip lorry controls were not marked; the risk assessment for loading and unloading skips fell short of identifying all significant risks and controls.

Deceased was placed in an “impossible situation”

Adis Scaffolding Limited, now in liquidation but formerly of Queen Street, Sheffield, was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay £124,468 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the hearing HSE inspector Edward Walker said:

“The failings by Adis Scaffolding Limited were substantial, ranging from unsuitable equipment, an inadequate risk assessment, inadequate training and instruction, and an absence of safe systems of work.

These failings led to a situation where things went badly wrong, and where David was placed in an impossible situation. His tragic death could easily have been avoided with better planning, management and foresight.”

 

As a result of the incident HSE issued an industry-wide safety alert highlighting the dangers of incorrect engagement of hooks on skips. http://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/tippinghooks.htm

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