A Hull woman is lucky to be alive after she was crushed between two lorries in a workplace accident, a court has heard.
Jennifer Rose, 38, suffered injuries described as horrific in the incident at TIP Trailer Service’s depot on Griff Lane, Nuneaton, Cheshire on 9 April 2013, Warwick Crown Court was told on Monday.
The transport firm was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and fined half a million pounds after pleading guilty to two safety breaches.
The court heard that Mrs Rose suffered 13 broken bones in her back, ribs and shoulders, a punctured lung, severe head injuries and a vision impairment. She also had a cardiac arrest, needed to have a tracheotomy and was in intensive care for well over a week.
The mother of a young son spent four months in a body brace and was in a wheelchair for several more. She has regular physiotherapy and has got some of her mobility back, the court was told.
Lorry on slope rolled back
The HSE investigation into the incident found that she was doing the work of a banksman and helping lorry drivers to park on sloping ground when she was hurt.
The driver of the lorry failed to apply the parking break when he uncoupled the trailer and it rolled back down the slope and trapped her between it and another vehicle, the court heard.
The HSE found that TIP Trailer Services let vehicles park on slopes on a regular basis without devices like chocks to stop them rolling down and did not have a system in place to check drivers always applied handbrakes, Warwick Crown Court was told.
It also heard that the slope ended on a road used by the public so drivers and pedestrians were also potentially at risk.
After admitting two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 TIP Europe Ltd, Market Street, Altrincham, which trades as TIP Trailer Services, was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay a further £56,938 towards the costs of the prosecution.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: March 18, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown