Trevett Engineering fined £30,000 following HSE investigation

A Buckinghamshire engineering company has been fined £30,000 after a worker was crushed to death at its premises.

Bryn Evans, 52, from Milton Keynes was acting as a banksman at Trevett Engineering and was guiding a reversing heavy goods delivery vehicle towards a doorway when he was killed.

As Evans was guiding the lorry into the loading area he became trapped between the back of the vehicle and the building’s brick wall. He died at the scene from crush injuries to his chest.

Milton Keynes Crown heard Evans had not received training as a banksman.  An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also showed there was no specific need for a banksman during the reversing process; it had merely become customary at the site.

After pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act, Trevett Engineering was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,630.

HSE Inspector, Karl Howes, said this “tragic case” illustrates the risks that are associated with deliveries and reversing vehicles.

“It is vital that employers fully assess the risks involved in deliveries to site,” he said. “Banksman should only be used when there are no safer available methods to control reversing and then only when people have been fully trained to undertake that role.”

In a separate HSE prosecution, one of the UK’s major producers of construction and mining equipment has been fined £6,000 after a worker had two fingers severed when his hand was caught in the drilling machine he was operating.

John Watson, 55, was drilling holes in steel plates at Komatsu UK, when his right hand became caught in the rotating parts of the machine.

Watson needed surgery to completely amputate his third finger and the middle finger between the first and second knuckle. He also had a bone removed from his hand. Watson has worked at Komatsu for nearly 20 years but has been unable to return to work since.

The investigation found that, at the time of the incident on 23 June 2009, there was no guard on the drill to prevent access to the rotating parts and it was not the first time the drill had been used without a guard.