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EXCLUSION ZONE COULD HAVE PREVENTED TIPPER DEATH

Tipper truck overturned during off-loading of limestone

Concrete products manufacturer Plasmor (Halton) Ltd has been fined £100,000 after a workman died after he was crushed when a tipper truck overturned.

HSE found the company lacked a safety system of work for delivery of raw materials, despite several tipper trucks coming onto the site every day.

Liverpool Crown Court heard (11 February 2014) that David Astley delivered a truck of limestone dust to the plant in Widnes on 13 July 2013. The material is used in the manufacture concrete blocks and slabs for the construction industry.

The 56-year-old was tipping his load when another driver arrived and was instructed to empty his load in the same place. During this second offloading the trailer overturned and landed on the cab of Mr Astley’s vehicle causing his death.

The court was told the tipper trucks arriving on the site weighed up to 44 tonnes and the risk of vehicles overturning is well-known in the manufacturing and construction industry.

HSE investigators found the company failed to carry out a risk assessment for the work and did not ensure the vehicles were kept a safe distance apart. The person who directed the drivers onto the site had not received suitable training.

Exclusion zones help minimise risk

Plasmor (Halton) Ltd, of Wormersley Road in Knottingley, was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £28,634 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Jane Carroll said:

“Mr Astley sadly lost his life because Plasmor hadn’t considered the risks facing drivers who arrived on the site.

The company should have known there was a danger of tipper trucks overturning and created exclusion zones to minimise the risk of anyone being injured. Instead, two drivers were allowed to empty their trailers next to each other.

Plasmor has since changed its procedures so staff are properly trained and tipper trucks are kept at least 20 metres apart. If this system had been in place at the time of the incident then Mr Astley’s death could have been avoided.”

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