A routine unloading operation led to tragedy in Dudley, when a worker was crushed in a horrific tail lift accident. It is believed that the driver, Gary Pickering, had been trying to lower the lift while he was busy removing items from the back of his lorry.
The likeliest theory was that he had inadvertently pressed the machine’s ‘up’ button during this manoeuvring, which had caused the lift to jolt suddenly, crushing him between the lift and the vehicle. The transport manager claimed that he had been unaware of this risk.
During an inquest, the manager, Alan Beech, explained that the manufacturers of the lift, T J Morris, had failed to warn about the potential danger from the equipment. In addition, the health and safety manager working for the firm, Home Bargains, did not inspect any of the tail lifts when they were first installed.
He gave the reason that he had mistakenly assumed they were like-for-like replacements for the tail lifts that the delivery drivers had been using for some time. Had he known the machinery could shut in this way, the 34 year-old driver could have been forewarned.
How could the tail lift accident have been prevented?
Every workplace in the UK is governed by stringent health and safety regulations. One of the key aspects of this legislation is risk assessment. In this particular case, there should have been no doubt whatsoever about the capability of the tail lifts for causing this type of injury.
The fact that the lifts were new to the premises should have been no excuse for the risk assessment not having been undertaken. In fact, new equipment being rolled out to any workplace should be prioritised. All employees should be fully trained in every aspect of the operation, and familiarity should never be assumed.
Can anyone help after an industrial injury?
Yes, and Accident Advice Helpline have been providing no-obligation advice to anyone who has suffered through someone else’s negligence for over 14 years.
If you telephone our free contact number – 0800 689 0500 – we will ensure your details are handed over to someone from our team of professional compensation claims solicitors.
They are expert in every aspect of compensation claims procedures, and can assess your own circumstances to see if you would qualify for a no win, no fee* claim. You can also visit our website and try out our 30-second claim calculator.