Firm fined £45,000 over Kilnhurst lorry driver’s death

Firm fined £45,000 over Kilnhurst lorry driver’s death

By Adele Forrest | 14/12/2018

Firm fined £45,000 over Kilnhurst lorry driver’s death
The scene of the accident in 2013.

A CONTRACTING firm has been fined £45,000 after a wagon driver died when his lorry overturned while he was tipping spoil onto a stockpile — described as a “high risk activity”.  

Alan Clements (60), of Goodwin Road, Rockingham, was delivering earth to a housing site in Kilnhurst on September 17, 2013, when he was fatally injured.

Sirius Remediation Ltd was capping the former tar works so houses could be built on top. Mr Clements reversed his lorry up a soil stockpile to dump the load, but the vehicle fell over sideways.

He suffered broken ribs and abdominal bleeding, which caused brain damage and his death in hospital one week later.

Sirius Remediation Ltd, of Langley Road, Durham, pleaded guilty at Sheffield Crown Court on November 23, to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company was fined £45,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.

The court heard Sirius was managing works which involved raising the ground levels on site by reusing spoil from other sites, instead of sending it to landfill. 

Mr Clements reversed up the slope of the stockpile and raised his tipper, but the truck toppled over sideways. 

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), found there was nothing to demarcate the sides or top of the slope, such as beams or barriers at the edges of the spoil heap, to prevent plant or other vehicles getting close to high and possibly loose edges. 

There was failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for the safe formation of the stockpile.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Medani Close said: “Stockpiling should only take place under the control of a suitably qualified temporary works manager or co-ordinator as it can be a high risk activity if not properly managed.

“Where stockpiling is unavoidable, tipping should take place on a firm, level surface, preferably at the base. 

“Plants such as a crawler dozer, tracked/loading shovel or excavator should be used to create and maintain the stockpile and its edges should be clearly demarcated with barriers.”

A four-day inquest with a jury was held into the grandfather’s death in July 2015 and a narrative verdict was recorded.

Speaking at the time, his daughter Marie Clements said she was “hoping for a little bit more” from the hearing.

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