Concrete panel kills site delivery driver

Grant Prior 8 years ago
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Three companies have been fined for safety failings after a concrete panel fell from a lorry and killed a worker.

Derby Crown Court heard how on 11 January 2011 Travis Hale, 45, was employed as a driver by Punchards Haulage Limited to transport a load of four concrete panels from Derby to a construction site in Edinburgh.

The panels had been designed by VTK Structures Limited and manufactured by Hanson Packed Products Limited.

When Hale arrived to collect the loaded trailer from Hanson’s yard, three vehicle straps supplied by Punchards had been used to secure the load into the trailer.

Shortly after starting his journey Hale was contacted and asked to pull over to check his load. He was joined by employees of panel designers VTK who advised him to fit more straps.

When Hale undid one of the existing straps, a panel weighing approximately one and a half tonnes fell off the trailer and killed him.

An HSE investigation found that the number of straps over the load were not sufficient to secure it safely for transport.

All three companies should have cooperated to ensure that a safer means of securing concrete panels on the trailer were used.

Punchards Haulage of Bramshall, Staffordshire were fined a total of £140,000, and ordered to pay costs of £37,016 after pleading guilty a safety offence.

VTK Structures of Horsham, West Sussex were fined a total of £140,000, and ordered to pay costs of £37,016 after pleading guilty.

Hanson Packed Products Limited (Formerly known as Hanson Building Products Limited), of Maidenhead, were fined a total of £80,000, and ordered to pay costs of £37,016 after pleading guilty.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Stuart Parry said: “Mr Hale was a devoted family man, well known in his local community, and his sudden death impacted on many lives.

“VTK and Punchards should have provided Mr Hale and other drivers with better means of securing panels, such as Toast racks or A frames. They did not do so and this failing led to the tragic death of Mr Hale.”

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