Firm fined after fatal lorry incident in Auchinleck
Wood-based materials manufacturer Egger (UK) Limited has been fined after a self-employed lorry driver was killed making a routine delivery of recycled wood.
Ayr Sheriff Court heard that on 3 October 2017, whilst standing on open ground at the rear of the trailer of his articulated vehicle, the driver Kenneth Aitchison was struck by a wheeled shovel loader operating in the yard at its Auchinleck premises.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the company’s risk assessments for workplace transport were not suitable or sufficient. This resulted in a failure to identify that pedestrians, including delivery drivers, were at risk of being struck by moving vehicles in the yard, despite the high level of vehicle movements and previous near misses. Consequently, the company failed to implement appropriate measures to control that risk, including the provision of designated pedestrian walkways.
Egger (UK) Limited of Technology House, Goldsworth Road, Woking pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974 and was fined £910,000.
HSE inspector Kathryn Wilson said: “The risks to pedestrians where vehicles are operating is well known. This incident could so easily have been avoided had the company identified the risks and put straightforward control measures and safe working practices in place. Had they done so the delivery driver would still be alive.
“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”