In recent court proceedings, an auto-salvage company has been found liable for an accident which caused the death of a customer. On the 15th February 2018 the customer, who had purchased a lift truck from the company, was fatally crushed as the lift truck was loaded onto his recovery vehicle using the company’s skip lorry. A metal ring that was attached to the winch wire failed, causing the lift truck to fall.
The man, who will remain unnamed, became trapped between the lift truck and his own recovery vehicle and was fatally crushed.
What should have prevented it?
This case could have been easily avoided had the lift been properly planned by a competent person and the appropriate safe working practices followed. A competent person should have identified the loading method and equipment were unsafe. The HSE found that this company had failed in its duty to not expose customers to risk.
The court found Michael Douglas Autosalvage Ltd of Stainton Rd, Etterby guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and fined them £23,000 plus costs of £8,000.
Could CRAMS Help?
By using CRAMS, a competent person would be able to complete all the required risk assessments and method statements incorporating any equipment used. This would then be flagged to review at regular intervals. Any new or updated documents would be automatically sent to relevant team members to review and they are required to be acknowledged before the member of staff is able to carry out the task. By implementing effective health and safety management, an accident like this would be avoided.