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    Site operator held accountable for death of HGV owner driver

    Alec Sharples Farm Supplies and Transport Ltd have been prosecuted following the death of a HGV company owner at their premises near Manchester in May 2014.

    Daniel Adams, aged 63, rented a unit on the industrial estate owned by the company where the fatal incident occurred.

    Manchester Crown Court heard how Mr Adams had been working on one of his own lorries when a HGV owned by Alec Sharples reversed into the section of the yard occupied by Mr Adams.

    The driver spoke with Mr Adams and when the conversation ended the driver reversed his truck crushing Mr Adam’s between the two vehicles. Daniel Adams was taken to Salford Royal Hospital where he died of internal injuries two days later.

    HSE investigators found the firm failed to implement a safe system of work for reversing HGVs and the training of drivers. There was no segregation of pedestrians and HGVs and a banksman was not provided.

    Vehicles not fitted with reversing ‘bleepers’

    Alec Sharples Farm Supplies and Transport Ltd of Roscow Road, Kearsley, Bolton pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,000.

    Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Ian Betley said:

    “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the host company to implement safe systems of work, and failure to ensure that health and safety documentation was communicated and followed.

    This risk was further amplified by the company’s failure to undertake a number of simple safety measures including segregating vehicles and pedestrians, ensuring that vehicles were fitted with reversing ‘bleepers’, and ensuring that reversing manoeuvres were supervised, in accordance with their site rules.”


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