Vehicles and pedestrians unable to move safely around premises

The Bedfordshire News has reported that two firms have been prosecuted after a lorry driver was crushed between two lorries in the haulage yard where he worked.

Pierre Psaila, a driver with hauliers H&M Distribution almost lost his life during the incident 2012 after another driver reversed into him, trapping him between two heavy goods vehicles.

He suffered a severed spinal cord, a number of fractured ribs and a brain injury which has affected his sight.

HSE investigators found that neither the site owners or H&M Distribution which rented the site between the hours of 4pm and 7.30am, had adequate procedures in place to ensure vehicles moved safely around the yard.

Potential risk to employees and the public

At Luton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 18th June Robin Cooper, prosecuting on behalf of the HSE, said:

“Mr Psaila was taken by air ambulance to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and put in an induced coma for four weeks. Several months after the incident he was discharged from hospital but he will never walk again which has had tragic consequences for him and his family.

There is no system of control sufficiently robust to allow vehicles and pedestrians to move around the yard safely and as such there was a failure on the part of both companies to assess the risks.

There was the potential for all employees of both companies to be exposed to the same risk as Mr Psaila and potential harm to the public.”

H&M Distribution pleaded guilty to contravening a health and safety regulation and will appear for sentence at Luton Crown Court on July 11.

H E Payne Transport pleaded guilty to being an employer in breach of a general duty to an employee but argued that H&M was responsible for the site during those hours.

Representing H E Payne, Paul Rogers, said:

“At the time of this accident H&M Distribution had exclusive use of the premises as a whole. During this time it was the responsibility of H&M to organise vehicle movements, there was nothing H E Payne could have done to prevent it.”

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