An Aberdeen-based engineering services company has been fined for safety failings, after a worker was injured when he fell from the trailer bed of a lorry at its premises.
Kenneth Morrison, 61 at the time, was securing a load at the TDC (Aberdeen) site on 21 March 2012 when the incident occurred. Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard yesterday (18 June) that Mr Morrison, a storeman and driver at the firm, had secured a load in the back of a lorry using ratchet straps. He took hold of a strap to steady himself as he stepped backwards over the side boards of the lorry, intending to use the side crash bar as a step down to the ground. However, the strap came loose and he fell backwards onto the ground below.
Mr Morrison was taken to hospital for minor head injuries and was discharged the same day. He returned to work a few days later and has made a full recovery.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that TDC (Aberdeen) had failed to identify the risk of falls from vehicles and had not considered work on the lorries in that context to be a hazard. As a result, no control measures had been put in place.
Employees had also not been given any training, information or instruction on how to carry out the task safely, and a lack of supervision meant that they had each devised their own way of working. Since the incident, the company has carried out a task-specific risk assessment and introduced a number of simple safeguards.
TDC (Aberdeen) was fined £5,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Following the case, HSE inspector Sarah Forbes, said: “Thankfully Mr Morrison’s injuries were not as serious as they could have been – it could easily have been worse.
“But the fact remains that this incident could have been avoided in the first place and was the result of TDC (Aberdeen) failing to make sure its employees were adequately protected from the risks associated with their jobs.”