A firm has been heavily fined after being found guilty of health and safety offences at work which led to a fatal injury to one of its employees.
Mapei UK Limited was fined over £170,000 and may have to pay a substantial costs bill after the Wolverhampton Crown Court found it guilty of health and safety offences which caused or contributed to the death of one of its employees.
Andew Davies, 43, was working for Mapei UK Limited at its Steel Park Road premises when the accident occurred on 1 July 2010. On the day in question Mr Davies, a forklift truck driver, was emptying a skip using a forklift truck by emptying the contents of the skip into a bag that was held by a cage. Mr Davies exited his forklift truck but as he did so the driver of an adjacent lorry reversed his lorry, crushing Mr Davies against the forklift truck and driving his head into one of the forklift truck’s forks. His head was impaled against the forks, killing him instantly.
The Health and Safety Executive was subsequently informed of the accident and sought to investigate. Their investigations found that there had been significant health and safety failings by the company, including a failure to segregate pedestrians and vehicles and a failure to organise and manage the transport yard. A prosecution was therefore recommended by the Health and Safety Executive.
The case came to the Wolverhampton Crown Court on 5 December 2013. Mapei UK Limited pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £173,332. The amount of the prosecution’s costs that the company will have to pay will be determined at a later date in another hearing.
HSE Inspector Mr Mahesh Mahey stated after the sentencing of Mapei UK Limited: “Numerous health and safety failings by Mapei UK Ltd led to this tragic incident in which Mr Davies needlessly lost his life. The dangers associated with vehicle movements are obvious and have been highlighted by HSE for many years. There were long-term, systematic failings by the company to adequately assess the risks and take sufficient control measures to ensure the transport yard was operated without posing a risk to the safety of those working there.”
It does not appear at this point in time that Mapei UK Limited nor their criminal defence lawyers have commented on the case since the sentencing.
Chris Hadrill, a solicitor at Redmans Solicitors, commented: “Businesses have an obligation to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work – in this instance the Health and Safety Executive believed that this particular company had failed to take those steps, resulting in the death of an employee.”
Redmans Solicitors are employment law solicitors and can help injured employees claim personal injury
Please note that Redmans Solicitors were not involved with any aspect of this case