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Driver killed by badly strapped load

Driver killed by badly strapped load

17 December 2015 Email this article

Driver killed by badly strapped load

A construction delivery driver was killed when a concrete panel fell from his lorry onto him.

Three companies have been prosecuted for safety failings that contributed to the incident and together must now pay out close to £500,000 in fines and costs.

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

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

When Mr 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 Mr Hale was contacted and asked to pull over to check his load. He was joined by employees from VTK who advised him to fit more straps.

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

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that there were not enough straps to secure the load. All three companies should have cooperated to ensure that a safer means of securing concrete panels on the trailer were used.

Punchards Haulage Ltd, of Bramshall Industrial Estate, Stone Road, Bramshall, Staffordshire was fined a total of £140,000, and ordered to pay costs of £37,016 after pleading guilty to an offence under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

VTK Structures Ltd, of Mill Bay Lane, Horsham, West Sussex was fined a total of £140,000, and ordered to pay costs of £37,016 after pleading guilty to an offence under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Hanson Packed Products Ltd (Formerly known as Hanson Building Products Ltd), of Hanson House, Castle Hill, Maidenhead, were fined a total of £80,000, and ordered to pay costs of £37,016 after pleading guilty to an offence under Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

HSE Inspector Stuart Parry said after the hearing: “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.”