An Ystrad Mynach recycling firm is being held accountable for the death of a 56-year-old foreman.

The victim, from Newport, died on 25 June 2008 at Amber Services Ltd.’s recycling yard at the Dyffryn Business Park after being crushed by a skip and a container.

According to testimony heard at the Cardiff Crown Court, the worker was locating useable skips —as outlined by his regular job duties — and became trapped between a stationary skip and a container that a co-worker was loading onto a vehicle. At the time, the vehicle had been reversed in to the yard without transport control accommodation.

Investigators would later attribute the accident to a lack of safety precautions by the company.

“The death of [the victim] could have been prevented if a few simple measures had been put in place,” said Health and Safety Executive inspector Clare Owen. “There was no effective system for managing vehicle and pedestrian movements on site, and skip storage was disorganised.”

As an HSE inspector, Owen naturally advocates the use of banksman-related management of vehicles. His concern is likely reinforced by the fact that roughly 30% of fatal injuries to employees were caused by workplace transport issues in 2010/11p.

“It is particularly important, wherever a driver has no view of his ‘blind spot’ during reversing and loading and unloading operations, that the activity is managed and controlled,” Owen later added.

Amber Engineering Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was penalized a total of £148,000 in fines and prosecution costs.

Our in-depth Vehicle Banksman Training course is specifically designed to prevent these types of incidents. While a great deal of workplace transport accidents involve collisions of large goods vehicles (LGV), the story above serves as a reminder that accidents come in many different forms. The ultimate cause of this incident was not the size of the vehicle, but rather a failure to manage it. Vehicle Banksman training, sometimes referred to as Traffic Marshal training, can apply to all classifications of vehicle manoeuvring and not just LGVs.

In less than a day, you can become a certified Vehicle Banksman and obtain a photo ID card as evidence of your knowledge. You will pick up essential skills for planning and conducting the manoeuvre using recognised signals, adhering to regulations, risk assessment and more.

Article Source: Health and Safety Executive