A Crown Censure has been issued against the Ministry of Defence (MoD) after a driver was fatally crushed by a reversing lorry while working for the organisation.
Graham Wood, 55, from Bicester Oxfordshire was working as an agency driver for the MoD when the incident occurred on the evening of November 19, 2013.
Mr Wood was trapped between the reversing truck and a stationary vehicle while delivering goods to the Kineton military base in Warwickshire.
A Crown Censure
These types of orders are issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as an equivalent to a prosecution.
They are a record of a formal decision that an official public body has breached health and safety laws.
Under UK law, crown agencies cannot be brought to justice in a court of law. However, Crown Censures are used to acknowledge that the agency had acted in a way that there would be a realistic prospect of conviction, should the matter have been brought to court.
Unnecessary safety risks
An investigation carried out by the HSE highlighted a lack of safe working procedures. The MoD also failed to have appropriate risk assessments in place and they were not managing the risks normally associated with the movement of large vehicles.
Jane Lassey, HSE’s deputy director of field operations said: “The risks arising from vehicle movements are well known and suitable measures required to reduce these risks are understood.
“Like any other employer, the MoD has a responsibility to reduce dangers to agency workers, as well as their own employees, on their sites as far as they properly can, and in this case they failed Graham Wood.”
A Crown Censure was issued under Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
The ministry accepted the official order of condemnation and in doing so admitted exposing employees, agency workers and site visitors to unnecessary risks to their safety, health and welfare.
Marked parking bays, newly-defined pedestrian walkways and a one-way system for site vehicles have been introduced by the MoD in response to the order.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: March 15, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown