Nottingham

Firms fined after Nottingham driver's death

Two companies have been fined £80,000 each and ordered to pay thousands more in costs following the death of a lorry driver in Nottingham.

Driver Gary Brookes, 42, of Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire, suffered fatal head injuries when he was crushed by a lorry at Imperial Tobacco's site in 2007.

Global Logistics Company, Exel Europe and Imperial Tobacco pleaded guilty to Health and Safety offences.

Imperial were ordered to pay costs of £31,000 and Exel costs of £35,800.

Nottingham Crown Court heard Mr Brookes, a driver with Exel, was trying to collect a loaded trailer from the Imperial Tobacco site at Bull Close Road, Lenton Industrial Estate on 7 September 2007.

The vehicle gradually rolled forward, crushing him against a building where he suffered fatal head injuries.

No checks

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into Mr Brookes' death found that drivers working for both Exel and Imperial did not routinely apply the trailer brakes to make sure the vehicles were safely parked.

The court heard some drivers had not been properly trained or assessed and no checks had been carried out to monitor the use of trailer brakes in the yard.

Both companies had identified the risk to workers but had failed to implement appropriate control measures.

After the sentencing, HSE Inspector Frances Bailey said: "This case was prompted by the tragic death of Gary Brooks, which could have been avoided had the companies involved ensured that all drivers routinely followed a safe system of work.

"In 2008 to 2009 twelve workers in the haulage industry died at work, while a further 1,500 were seriously injured.

"All haulage companies should know that it is their responsibility to check on safety practices and make sure drivers are following the right procedures"

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