Royal Mail fined over crush death
Posted Thu, 11 Mar 2010
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned firms of their legal responsibilities regarding vehicle safety following the death of a Royal Mail worker, who was crushed between a lorry cab and its trailer.
The incident occurred in September 2006 at Royal Mail's Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre (HWDC) when a Royal Mail HGV driver was reversing his vehicle into position.
Colin Smith, 57, was fatally injured when he became trapped between the cab and the trailer as he attempted to remove the connecting lock between the two vehicles.
Royal Mail Group Ltd, based at 148 Old Street, London, were ordered to pay £90,000 and costs of £42,549.56 after admitting breaching section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 at Reading Crown Court.
Following the trial, HSE inspector Karl Howes said Mr Smith's death was a reminder of the legal responsibilities that firms have to protect employees in areas where HGVs are in operation.
Mr Howes said: "In areas where vehicles are manoeuvring, employers have a legal duty to ensure that work can be done safely. Royal Mail's guilty plea demonstrates that they acknowledge the failings and since the accident they have put measures in place to prevent a recurrence."
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