Firms fined six figures after driver crushed while unloading vehicle

Court room gavel and scales of justice, traffic commissioner

Two companies have received six-figure fines after a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driver suffered fatal chest injuries while unstrapping a load on a trailer.

Andrew Bayley-Machin, 41, of Park Drive, Cheadle, Stoke-on-Trent, was fatally crushed when he was hit by a pack of steel gates that fell approximately three metres from a load on a flatbed trailer.

The vehicle had been loaded with the gates at Joseph Ash, at Stafford Park 6, Telford, and driven by Bayley-Machin to the premises of his employer LM Bateman & Company in Cheadle Road, Cheddleton, Staffordshire, when the incident happened on June 20, 2018.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that arrangements for planning and restraining loads were inadequate to ensure that the stability of goods was independent of the load straps so that release of the straps did not allow the load to fall from the vehicle.

LM Bateman and Company of Island Works, Cheadle Road, Cheddleton, Leek, Staffordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 (1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

It was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £16,334 and a victim surcharge of £100 at North Staffordshire Justice Centre yesterday (Monday, November 7).

Appearing alongside LM Bateman and Company, Joseph Ash of Westhaven House, Arelston Way, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands, also pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The business was fined £244,500 and ordered to pay costs of £17,834 and a victim surcharge of £100.

Following the hearing, HSE inspector Wendy Campbell said: “This death would have been prevented had an effective system for managing load restraint been in place at both companies.

“This is a reminder to all companies of the need to properly assess and apply effective control measures when securing loads to minimise the risks from transporting goods on road vehicles.”

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety.

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