Egger UK fined £910,000 over driver fatality

Egger UK Ltd has been fined £910,000 over an incident in 2017 where a self-employed lorry driver was killed making a routine delivery of recycled wood at its Auchinleck site in Scotland.

The incident took place in 2017 during a delivery of recycled wood to Egger’s chipboard manufacturing plant in Ayrshire

According to a statement from the HSE, Ayr Crown Court heard that Kenneth Aitchison, who was 60 at the time, was struck by a wheeled shovel loader operating in the yard.

The HSE says its investigation revealed that the company’s risk assessments for workplace transport were not suitable or sufficient.

“This resulted in a failure to identify that pedestrians, including delivery drivers, were at risk of being struck by moving vehicles in the yard, despite the high level of vehicle movements and previous near misses,” the HSE added.

Egger (UK) Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974 and was fined £910,000.

‘Regret’

In a statement given to letsrecycle.com, an Egger spokesperson, said, “We sincerely regret that this accident resulted in such tragic consequences and extend our condolences to the family of Mr Aitchison”.

The spokesperson added: “Egger has cooperated fully with the Health and Safety authorities in order to minimise the risk of such a tragic event happening again. We have made significant changes to all of our UK operations to protect the safety of everyone on site at all times.”

“We sincerely regret that this accident resulted in such tragic consequences and extend our condolences to the family of Mr Aitchison”- Egger spokesperson

Avoidable

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector, Kathryn Wilson said the incident could have been avoided if correct measures had been in place.

She said: “The risks to pedestrians where vehicles are operating is well known. This incident could so easily have been avoided had the company identified the risks and put straightforward control measures and safe working practices in place. Had they done so the delivery driver would still be alive.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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