Companies fined after delivery driver injured by falling pallets

A pair of West Yorkshire businesses, Brighouse Pallet Services and Seal It Services, have been fined for safety breaches after a HGV driver suffered a fracture to one of his neck vertebrae.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard that on 5 August 2020 the delivery driver, an employee of Brighouse Pallet Services was struck by one or two falling pallets whilst they were being unloaded from a HGV trailer by a Seal It Services fork-lift truck (FLT) operator at the latter company’s site at Elland.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found both companies failed in their duty to provide a safe system of work.

They failed to put in place simple control measures to ensure all delivery drivers who visited the Seal It Services site were moved to a safe location for waiting, whilst HGV trailers were being unloaded by FLTs.

Brighouse Pallet Services, of Elland Road, Brighouse, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £4806 in costs.

Seal It Services, of Riverbank Way, Elland, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £50,000  and ordered to pay £4,654 in costs.

HSE inspector David Welsh, said: “Loading and unloading of HGVs by FLTs are among the most dangerous transport activities in the workplace. People can by hit by falling objects, struck by FLTs, or fall from vehicles.

“All such incidents can result in serious personal injury and the risks involved must be managed by all those who have legal duties for the safety of delivery drivers, both their employer and the sites they deliver to.

“This incident could so easily have been avoided by implementing the simple control measure of keeping the delivery driver out of the area where the FLT was operating to maintain a safe system of work.”

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