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Firm prosecuted for lack of lorry trailer safety measures

  • 08 July 2014
  • By Roger Brown

Boden Davies, which recycles wood to produce shavings for cat litter and animal bedding, has been fined £8,000 after allowing its employees to stand on the top of lorry trailers without adequate safety measures in place.

In a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution, Trafford Magistrates’ Court was told how workers at the Greater Manchester-based firm had climbed on to the top of trailers on several occasions, prior to HSE’s visit in October 2012, to level the woodchip or check if the covering sheet was snagged.

An investigation found employees were put at risk of falling up to 4m from the trailers on to a concrete yard.
Boden Davies failed to provide adequate instructions or training to drivers on how to cover the loads safely at its site in Minshulls Farm on Lower Green Lane in Astley, and there was no system for supervising the work.

The company had provided a built-in working platform at the front of the trailers, but even this did not comply with health and safety legislation, as there was still a serious risk of employees being injured in a fall.
Workers were also not always able to use the platform and had to climb on top of the load.

Boden Davies was also ordered to pay £709 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Mike Lisle said: “Falls from height are the most common cause of workplace deaths in the UK and employees at Boden Davies were put at risk every time they climbed on top of the lorry trailers.

“The company has since introduced a harness system which means its employees are properly protected when they carry out this work. If this had been in place sooner, employees would not have been in danger.”


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