Manufacturer is fined £100k over death of driver

Ellesmere Port man died in tipper truck tragedy

HSE The overturned trailer which caused David Astleys death at Plasmor in Widnes
The overturned trailer which caused David Astleys death at Plasmor in Widnes

A manufacturer has been fined £100,000 after an Ellesmere Port worker was crushed to death when a tipper truck overturned.

Plasmor Halton Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found the company failed to have a safety system in place for the delivery of raw materials, despite several tipper truck visits to the site in Widnes every day.

Liverpool Crown Court heard on Tuesday that David Astley had taken a truck of limestone dust to the plant on Tanhouse Lane in Widnes on July 13.

The material is used by the company to make concrete blocks and slabs.

The 56-year-old, of Ellesmere Port, was tipping the load when another driver arrived at the plant with another load of limestone.

The second driver was told to empty his truck in the same place but, as he lifted the trailer, it overturned and fell on Mr Astley’s cab, killing him.

The court heard the tipper trucks arriving on the site could weigh up to 44 tons and the risk of vehicles overturning is well known in the manufacturing and construction industry.

An HSE investigation found Plasmor had failed to carry out a risk assessment for the work and should have made sure vehicles were kept a safe distance apart.

The person who directed the drivers onto the site had also not received suitable training.

Plasmor Halton Ltd, registered at Wormersley Road in Knottingley, was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £28,634 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health And Safety At Work etc Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Jane Carroll said: “Mr Astley sadly lost his life because Plasmor hadn’t considered the risks facing drivers who arrived on the site.

“The company should have known there was a danger of tipper trucks overturning, and created exclusion zones to minimise the risk of anyone being injured.

“Instead, two drivers were allowed to empty their trailers next to each other.

“Plasmor has since changed its procedures so staff are properly trained and tipper trucks are kept at least 20m apart. If this system had been in place at the time of the incident then Mr Astley’s death could have been avoided.”

 

 

 
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