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Written by
on 05 August 2011


All accidents in the workplace are tragic and many can be completely avoided thanks to the work carried out by health and safety consultants. When these accidents turn fatal then the heart cries out for the poor family left behind, families who have lost a loved one through causes that could have been prevented if the company took advantage of the health and safety services that can ensure the workplace is a safe place to be.

This week one company has been prosecuted after a young father was killed while working for a Sheffield Company, DavyMarkham Ltd. He left behind a wife a daughter and an unborn son who was born just six weeks after his father passed away.

Health and Safety Flaws Exposed

Alan Winters was aged just 28 years old when he was working with his colleagues unloading a crate which weighed four tonnes from a lorry. Having made several failed attempts to remove the crate the workers gave one more effort.  Mr Winters stood on the back of a forklift in order to reach a hook which was attached to the container. The forklift moved too far backwards which resulted in Mr Winters being trapped against the roof.  The young worker died from the crush injuries.

Risk Assessment

After the incident a full investigation was carried out by the Health and Safety Executive. Sheffield Crown Court heard how two containers arrived each containing heavy crates.  The first held a five tonne crate which the workers tried to remove using a four tonne capacity forklift.  This failed and so the workers moved on the next container which held the four tonne crate.

During this time the site manager was working on a risk assessment which they hoped would resolve the problem of getting the crates out safely.  This is when the accident occurred as the workers continued to operate unsafely.

If In Doubt Contact the Health and Safety Consultants for Advice

Health and safety consultants will tell you that risk assessments need to be carried out before attempting any project or job. The risk assessment should have already been completed before any workers tried to remove the crates, rather than half way through after several tries. The inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive stated that the loading and the unloading of lorries requires careful and extensive planning.  Without planning accidents occur and unfortunately so does loss of life.

DavyMarkham Ltd attended Sheffield Crown Court where they pleaded guilty.  They returned to court for sentencing where they were fined £33,333 and also ordered to pay £49,247 in costs.

 Health and safety services are provided for companies to help prevent accidents like this from occurring.  Veritas are health and safety consultants and you can approach them for all sorts of services from training up your site managers to fire risk assessments.  To avoid tragic accidents from occurring at your work premises call the experts and ask for assistance.  You can reach the health and safety consultants online or by phone.  Call 0800 1488 677 to find out more.

About the author

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.