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LORRY SHEETING ARRANGEMENTS PROVED FATAL

Driver fell 4m to death during unsafe un-sheeting of lorry

A wood waste company has been fined £216,000 after lorry driver Paul Littlewood died when he fell 4m from a walking floor trailer in South Yorkshire whilst manually un-sheeting the unit in June 2014.

The trailer access to the work platform located at the front of the trailer was protected by a single manually fastened wire rope. The rope is normally fastened to a vertical post with a carabiner.

At the time of the incident the wire rope was hanging loose and the access point was unprotected.

Automatic sheeting not installed

Sheffield Crown Court heard the company failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment for sheeting and un-sheeting trailers. Automatic sheeting was not used and the protection which provided was inadequate to protect workers from the risk of falls.

  • R Plevin & Sons Ltd – of Cheshire Street Mossley Ashton Under Lyne Lancashire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 3 (1) of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The company was fined £216,000 and ordered to pay costs of £31,266.54.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Tim Johnson commented:

“The incident could have easily been prevented by providing either automatic sheeting or self-closing gates similar to those at the access point on Mobile Elevated Work Platforms, coupled with a double guard rail along the length of the work platform.

It is a requirement to carry out suitable planning for significant risks such as working at height. The sheeting and un-sheeting of lorry trailers is clearly working at height and the company should have identified the risks and control measures necessary to prevent this fatal accident.”

 

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