DS Smith Paper Ltd has been found guilty of breaching the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 by failing to make sure the site was safe for vehicles and pedestrians. Manchester Crown Court ordered the company to pay £130,000 in fines and costs after a worker suffered serious injuries when he was crushed between his HGV and another vehicle at a recycling plant.
The Court heard that the worker had emptied his load of paper and got out of his truck to close its rear doors using two buttons on the side of the vehicle. As he did, another truck reversed into the warehouse through a separate doorway and trapped him between both vehicles. The worker suffered fractured ribs, a fractured right collar bone, a punctured right lung and multiple bruising.
The HSE’s investigations revealed there were no barriers in the tipping shed to separate vehicles entering through different doors and that it was common practice for two vehicles to be in the warehouse at any one time. They also found that a supervisor was not present to indicate whether it was safe for drivers to enter the site.
Following the accident DS Smith Paper Ltd introduced new safety measures allowing one HGV in the warehouse at a time, and it created a new safety area for pedestrians.
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