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Company fined after worker crushed to death

A 52-year-old man was crushed under the wagon while attempting to replace its front wheels
A 52-year-old man was crushed under the wagon while attempting to replace its front wheels

A company in Doncaster has been fined after an employee was killed when a mixer wagon fell onto him.

The 52-year-old man was fatally crushed by the vehicle at Booth Mixer Hire Ltd’s site at Bankend Quarry on 9 December 2019. He had been replacing the wagon’s two front wheels when it fell on top of him. With the existing wheels already removed, the worker entered the underside of the vehicle and attempted to prop it higher up using a bottle jack. It was at this point when the wagon fell onto the worker.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into this incident found Booth Mixer Hire Ltd failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for replacing the wheels on the wagon. The firm had also failed to put in place a system of work that ensured the work could be carried out safely. It also failed to consider the use of alternative equipment, such as a trolley jack, which would have allowed the vehicle to be jacked from outside the danger zone.

HSE guidance states employers must make sure there are safe working procedures in place when moving heavy loads and ensure all lifting points for jacks and stands are correct for that vehicle.

Booth Mixer Hire Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £16,717.15 in costs at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on 2 April 2024.

HSE inspector John Boyle said: “This tragic incident could have been avoided by assessing the risk and implementing  safe working practices. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”