Agricultural haulier fined after driver suffers trailer fall

Curtainsider trailer

© HSE

A Thurso-based agricultural haulier has been fined £8,000 after a driver fell from a trailer to the ground.

Colin Sutherland, 53, suffered a fractured skull and broke his pelvis, three ribs and a wrist in the fall, Perth Sheriff Court heard. He still suffers from limited sensation in his face and mobility problems.

Mr Sutherland was securing a load of grain bags on a curtainsider trailer, at Thormean Granary, Milnathort, on 9 February 2016 when he fell 2.88m and was seriously injured.

See also: Tougher penalties for farm health and safety breaches

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified that there was a failure to make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and a failure to provide and maintain a safe system of work.

W D Cormack & Sons of, Castletown, Thurso, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £8,000.

Accident ‘easily avoided’

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Norman Schouten said: “This incident could have been avoided by implementing effective measures to control work at height on trailers.

“Load securing systems, which allow drivers to secure loads from the ground, can be easily fitted to curtain-siders.

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