Six-figure fine for building merchant as worker suffers brain injury

Credit: Haldane Fisher

A company has been fined £380,000 after a delivery driver fell and suffered a brain injury while working at a site in Walsall.

Timothy Bates was delivering fuel for a temporary diesel generator at Haldane Fisher’s timber processing site on Long Street when he fell from a trailer on July 28, 2022.

Bates was organising equipment in a trailer attached to his truck when a forklift truck, reversing out of a nearby mill, collided with the vehicle.

This collision caused the trailer to push into Bates, resulting in the 57-year-old falling and striking his head on the tarmac below.

Following the incident, he spent five weeks in the hospital due to the injury followed by 13 weeks in a care facility where he underwent cognitive-behavioral therapy, he now experiences memory loss and dizziness.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that Haldane Fisher, trading as GE Robinson, failed to establish safe working systems for fuel delivery to temporary generators at its site.

The separation between vehicles and pedestrians in the yard was noted, and no measures were in place to prevent forklift trucks from entering areas where delivery drivers refuelled generators.

Although the company recognised the risks associated with workplace transport and identified control measures to separate pedestrians and vehicles, these measures were not put into practice.

Haldane Fisher Limited, located at Shepherds Way, Carnbane Industrial Estate, Newry, Northern Ireland pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The company was fined £380,000 and ordered to pay £5,934.50 in costs at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on March 1, 2024

HSE inspector Heather Campbell said: “This case highlights the dangers arising from inadequate management of workplace transport. It also highlights the requirements to ensure the safety of non-employees including contractors at employer’s sites.”