Two companies have been fined after a worker was seriously injured by a trolley carrying hydraulic rams.

Stafford Crown Court heard how an employee was auditing in-coming deliveries of equipment in an outside yard, when he was struck from behind by falling machinery.  At the time of the incident the machinery was being towed by an electric tug and weighed approximately 770kg.

The trolley toppled on its side trapping the employee between it and a stillage. He suffered multiple serious injuries including fractures and internal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 16 October 2013 found there were a number of safety failures related to this auditing activity and the segregation between employees and vehicles using this area, leading to an unsafe system of work.

Each company, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and the first was fined £266,000 and ordered to pay costs of £23,370.22, with the second company breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 also, and was fined £375,000 and ordered to pay costs of £37,235.42.

HSE Inspector David Brassington said after the hearing: “The dangers of failing to provide effective segregation between pedestrians and vehicles are well known. Both of these companies were well versed in transport risk management and both fell well below the required standard in ensuring that such risks were effectively managed in this area.”

“These failings allowed a pedestrian worker into a busy area where vehicles were coming and going and as a result the worker sustained serious injuries from which he has still not recovered.”

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