Transport Company Fined After Agency Driver Fatally Crushed

The below case illustrates the importance of transport companies identifying and managing risks associated with delivering heavy loads and providing adequate training to staff to enable them to safely deliver heavy loads.

The Incident

​High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 23rd November 2016, an employee of Reason Transport UK Limited was delivering a pallet of stone tiles using a tail-lift and a manual pallet truck. The driver had great difficulty moving the pallet onto the truck’s tail-lift, and when he finally managed to get it onto the tail-lift he lost control of the pallet, and it fell on to him, causing him fatal crushing injuries.

Investigation by Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

An investigation by the HSE found the weight of the pallet was recorded as 1,200kg, but the actual weight of the pallet was 1,400kg, exceeding the 1,000kg weight limit established by the pallet network for tail-lift deliveries. The HSE also discovered the agency driver had only been at the company for 2 weeks and had not been trained in how to safely deliver pallets using a tail-lift.

Reason Transport UK Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined £5,000.