Hermes Depot Worker Dies from Crushing Injury Sustained by two Trailers
In March 2019, a night shift employee of Hermes’ Motherwell depot was killed after a crushing injury. The accident was caused by being stuck between two loaded trailers, one of which was moving. David Kennedy was crushed in the chest, which lead to a collapsed lung, several fractured ribs, and other serious internal injuries. These chest injuries combined caused Kennedy to lose his life.
The fatal accident occurred as Kennedy was moving the loaded trailer backwards through the depot. He was crushed between the arm of the trailer he was moving and another stationary trailer. This accident happened whilst he was undergoing training to properly use the pedestrian-operated trailer mover. Kennedy was being supervised by a colleague during the fatal accident.
HSE’s investigation in the crushing injury at the Hermes depot found there was no appropriate risk management or assessment of the training of staff in this practice. Even Hermes’ own policy of using banksmen that were suitably trained to move trailers, even during training, wasn’t implemented by them.
On May 23rd, 2022, Hermes pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) and 33(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. They were fined £850,000 for the breaches that led to crushing injury. Hermes has since rebranded to “Evri.” Kim Ross, an HSE inspector, commented on the sentencing:
“Employers have a responsibility to assess risk, devise safe systems of work and then ensure this is implemented. Had the training for the trailer mover been properly planned and supervised, then the death of an employee could have been avoided.”
Injuries in Warehouses are Quite Common
The transport and storage sector employs over 5% of the UK workforce. Warehouse, postal, and courier workers suffer a significantly higher rate of personal injury at work than the national average. In 2019, there were a reported 29,000 workplace accidents to those working in the transport and storage industry. Many of these injuries come from slips, trips, and falls, as well as manual handling accidents and moving or falling objects, like in the case of Kennedy’s fatal crushing injury. A large portion – at a third – of the fatal accidents to workers in this industry are caused by moving vehicles. Second to that are falls from heights accidents, which are one of the most common causes of fatality across all UK workplaces.
Have You Suffered a Crushing Injury at Work?
A crushing injury doesn’t need to be fatal in order to be serious. Many crushing injuries can lead to internal organ damage, which can have a debilitating effect on your quality of life. If you sustained such a personal injury whilst working, and you feel your employer is to blame, we can help. Blame can be attributed to lack of training, risk assessments, and many other negligent practices that employers use to cut corners and turn profits.
If you need to make a claim for a workplace accident, contact us on 08082391859^ to speak to a friendly advisor. We will assess your case free of charge, and under no-obligation to yourself. If you decide you want to go ahead and file your claim, we can get you the compensation you deserve on a no win, no fee* basis. Call today to get started.
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