Firm ordered to pay £35,000 compensation after worker thrown from vehicle

Work Accident Compensation Claim

A courier company in the South of England has been fined after an employee broke a leg at its distribution centre.

The company was fined a total of £35,000, after the worker suffered the injury as he neared the end of his shift in early 2008. The employee, a porter at the courier company, was unloading a Heavy Goods Vehicle, ready to sort the parcels in order for them to be prepared for local delivery in the company's smaller vehicles.

However, on this occasion, while he was still in the back of one of the smaller vehicles, the driver pulled away from the loading dock before the worker could alert the driver to his presence. As a result he fell from the smaller vehicle to ground and suffered a broken thigh bone.

Graham Tompkins, an inspector with the Health and Safety Executive commented that the accident should never have happened, and would never have happened if his employer had followed the correct risk assessment procedures.

He employer was aware that someone could be inside the back of a vehicle when it drove off and had produced a risk assessment to be issued to new drivers with their employment contracts, said Mr Tompkins.

However in this case the driver had not received a contract and had not seen the risk assessment.

Mr Tompkins went on to say that measures could have been put in place that would have prevented the accident from happening. He suggested that a control system such as a key cabinet to prevent drivers pulling away from the loading bay until the area is secure should be installed.

The company admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was also ordered to pay an additional £5,134 in compensation cost at Bedfordshire Magistrates' Court.

Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states:

It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.

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