JCB fined for safety failings after DHL worker injured by falling machinery at Rocester headquarters

Plant and machinery company JCB and delivery firm DHL have been fined a total of £641,000 after a worker suffered multiple injuries when he was hit by falling machinery at JCB World Headquarters in Rocester.

The DHL employee, who sustained fractures and internal injuries in the incident, was auditing in-coming deliveries of equipment in an outside yard at the factory when he was struck from behind by a falling trolley, which was being towed by an electric tug and weighed approximately 770kg.

The trolley toppled on its side trapping the DHL employee between it and a stillage.

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

The investigation also identified that employees of JC Bamford Excavators Ltd accessed this area as pedestrians when vehicles were operating.

At Stafford Crown Court, DHL Services Limited, of Midsummer Boulevard, Central, Milton Keynes, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £266,000 and ordered to pay costs of £23,370.22.

J C Bamford Excavators Limited, of Lakeside Works, Rocester, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £375,000 and ordered to pay costs of £37,235.42.

HSE inspector David Brassington: “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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