Company fined after employee suffers life-changing crushing injuries

Stagecoach Devon Limited has received a fine of £380,000 after one of its workers was crushed between a reversing bus and a stationary vehicle. The employee was working at the company’s Torquay depot on the morning of 3 October 2019. Due to limited space, buses frequently would reverse in order to depart the depot.

The sole banksman, who would direct vehicles, was occupied at the top of the depot where many buses were parked. Consequently, it became common practice for bus drivers at the front of the depot to reverse without a banksman, or to help one another when reversing, even though they were not trained as banksmen.

The injured worker, who was crushed between a reversing bus and a stationary vehicle, sustained compound multiple fractures of his arm requiring six titanium plates and 65 metal staples between his wrist and elbow.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that Stagecoach Devon Limited failed to implement a suitable and sufficient risk assessment. This should have spotted the risks associated with the bus parking set up and steps should have been taken to stop the need for buses to reverse or mitigate the risks with reversing.

At Plymouth Magistrates Court Stagecoach Devon Limited of One Stockport Exchange, 20 Railway Road, Stockport, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.  The company was fined £380,000 and ordered to pay costs of £18,000.