Firm sentenced after worker hit by tractor
15 May 2015
A Carlisle man suffered serious injuries when he was run over by the cab of an articulated lorry in a haulage yard where he worked at Stainton, near Penrith.
On Tuesday 13 May 2015, Carlisle Magistrates Court heard Graham Robinson was working as a transport manager for The Haulage (Holdings) Organisation, which is the transport arm of the Omega Proteins business, at the company’s site at Quarry Garage, Stainton on 30 April 2014.
Mr Robinson was walking from the site office building to the car park while HGV vehicles belonging to the company were operating in the yard. He would normally have walked along the side of the yard to reach the car park but was unable to do so because there was a shallow trench across this route and also a HGV and trailer parked on it.
The trench had been dug to make repairs to a diesel pipe and had been marked with cones with tape strung between them. It blocked the normal pedestrian route and no alternative route was provided by the company.
The lorry knocked Mr Robinson to the ground he was trapped beneath the vehicle’s fuel tank, colleagues had to use a JCB to lift the HGV sufficiently to free him. He suffered two broken toes, a tendon in one foot was stretched and his legs were heavily bruised.
Although the trench caused the immediate problem on the day of the accident, the court was told there was no effective demarcation or segregation of pedestrian and vehicle areas and routes in the busy haulage yard, such as railings and marked pedestrian crossings.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Matthew Tinsley said: "This accident could easily have been fatal. As it is Mr Robinson is still experiencing lingering difficulties with one ankle and both knees that impact on his daily life and he may require surgery. The accident could have been prevented if the company had taken simple steps to keep pedestrians and vehicles apart in the yard, as they did after the accident.”The Haulage (Holdings) Organisation of Swalesmoor Farm, Halifax, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 33 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc and was fined £20,000, with costs of £1,878.50.