HSE warns HGV drivers after the death of a road worker

The workplace health and safety regulator is urging drivers to use warning alarms and apply parking brakes, following an incident in January 2015 were Dale Pentney, a road worker, was crushed by a HGV tractor unit after it rolled backwards, unexpectedly.

Anthony Steven Smith pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving and being in breach of section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, Sevenoaks Magistrates' Court gave Mr. Smith a 12-month suspended prison sentence.

Mr. Smith was attempting to connect his tractor unit to another parked trailer as it started to roll backwards.

Unfortunately, Mr Pentney was unable to jump out of the way of the trailer and as a result he was trapped between the vehicles; Mr. Pentney died at the scene of the incident.

The HSE and Kent Police force determined that Mr. Smith had failed to apply the tractor units parking brake. It has also been determined that Mr. Smith failed to recognise coupling procedures.

In addition to his 12-month suspended sentence Mr. Smith was disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Melvyn Stancliffe, the HSE inspector, commented: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable accident and HSE’s sympathies are extended to the Pentney family. Sadly, it shows how dangerous situations can develop very quickly. These coupling/uncoupling incidents – known as ‘runaways’ or ‘rollaways’ – are all too common."

He went on to say: “Drivers must ensure they correctly apply the tractor unit parking brake before exiting the cab and then follow safe decoupling and coupling procedures.”

To find out guidance about the safe coupling and uncoupling of vehicles follow the link below:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/information/coupling.htm

Source: HSE.gov.uk, Death of road worker prompts HSE warning to HGV drivers, By Unknown HSE Author, 24 May 2016, to read the full story click here.

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