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Sheffield company fined £300,000 after worker killed by skip lorry

June 10 2013

A Sheffield company that crushes rubble from construction and demolition waste has been fined £300,000 after an employee was killed by an overturning skip lorry.

David Vickers, 37, of Walton, was tipping a skip at Adis Scaffolding Ltd’s site in Markham Lane, Duckmanton, when the incident happened.

Derby Crown Court was told he had exited the cab of the truck he was driving to deploy the stabilising rear outriggers before raising a skip using the lifting arms.

However, as he did so the vehicle overturned and landed on top of him, causing fatal injuries. He died at the scene.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident in July 2008, found the skip was mis-hooked, with the hooks engaging on the lip of a base plate rather than a catch bar, the correct part of the skip.

HSE also established that there was no safe system of work for the skip operation, including how to handle mis-hooks and other foreseeable problems; that there was inadequate training and instruction; that the skip lorry controls were not marked; and that the risk assessment for loading and unloading skips fell short of identifying all significant risks and controls.

Adis Scaffolding Limited, now in liquidation but formerly of Queen Street, Sheffield, was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay £124,468 in costs after pleading guilty to safety breaches.

After the hearing HSE inspector Edward Walker said: “The failings by Adis Scaffolding Limited were substantial, ranging from unsuitable equipment, an inadequate risk assessment, inadequate training and instruction, and an absence of safe systems of work.

“These failings led to a situation where things went badly wrong, and where David was placed in an impossible situation. His tragic death could easily have been avoided with better planning, management and foresight.”

As a result of the incident HSE issued an industry-wide safety alert highlighting the dangers of incorrect engagement of hooks on skips – http://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/tippinghooks.htm