Posted 23rd Nov 2017

Howdens fined £1.2m after agency driver death

By KBBDaily on 23rd November 2017 - 10:04am

Fitted kitchen and appliance manufacturer and supplier Howden Joinery Ltd – Howdens – has been fined £1.2m after the death of a visiting heavy goods vehicle – HGV – driver at the company's Workington site.

According to the Health and Safety Executive – HSE – Carlisle Crown Court heard that Richard Brown was delivering kitchen worktops to the location when he was crushed to death as a forklift truck overturned whilst lifting kitchen worktops from the trailer of the HGV.

An investigation in November 2014 found that the forklift truck had been “overloaded”, according to the HSE, and that visiting delivery drivers “were not kept at a safe distance from the loading and unloading operations”.

Howdens pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Alongside its fine of £1.2m, the group was also ordered to pay costs of £33,902. “Standing too close to where loading or unloading work is being carried out can put people in harm's way so people, such as delivery drivers, should be in a position of safety when forklift trucks are operating,” said HSE inspector Steven Boyd.

“This tragic incident could have been avoided if Howden Joinery Ltd had implemented a safe procedure to ensure that pedestrians were kept at a safe distance during loading and unloading work,” he added. “Duty holders should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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