Volvo fined after worker crushed by runaway truck

Glasgow: The truck crushed the mechanic. Health and Safety Executive

A manufacturing company has been fined more than GBP13,000 after a worker was crushed by a truck and left with a fractured spine. He was testing the brakes of a low-loader truck unit and trailer when it slipped off the jack and pinned him against a set of steps. Volvo Group UK Limited was taken to court after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at the company’s Cardonald depot in Glasgow in June 2016.

Volvo fined after worker crushed by runaway truck Fined: Volvo Group’s Cardonald depot. Google 2019

On Thursday at Glasgow Sheriff Court, Volvo Group was fined GBP13,333.33 after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc.

Act 1974. The court heard that the employee had raised the trailer off the ground using a pit jack, but failed to apply the handbrake or use any wheel chocks to prevent the vehicle rolling. Whilst adjusting the brakes at the first axle, the truck unit rolled forward, causing the jack to slip off the axle of the trailer.

The man was then seriously injured. The Volvo Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines.

‘If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life-changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.’Jennie Stafford, HSE inspector

An investigation by HSE found that the company had failed to provide a sufficient number of wheel chocks and failed to provide information, instruction, supervision and training of its employees in their use. Volvo Group also failed to give the employee a suitable induction in safe working practices.

HSE inspector Jennie Stafford said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working. “If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life-changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.” A Volvo Group spokesperson said: “Safety is a core value of the Volvo Group and the health, safety and wellbeing of all of our employees – and others whom we come into contact with – is of paramount importance.

“The group therefore sincerely regrets the breach in health and safety procedures and for the injury caused as a result of this accident.  “The company promptly self-reported the incident to, and fully cooperated with HSE throughout the course of its investigations, actively taking steps to ensure it addressed all relevant issues reflecting the company’s ethos in continuously identifying and improving its health and safety culture.  “During his summary, sheriff Brown commented that following the accident ‘the company had done everything that could be expected and perhaps more’. 

“Following this accident, the company has continued to strengthen the safety culture in the workplace and this has been recognised with the award of the British Safety Council’s international award earlier in 2019.”

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