A Sheffield parcel delivery firm has been ordered to pay £169,000.00 in fines and court costs after an employee suffered a severe brain injury when his skull was crushed by a reversing lorry. The incident happened at the Tuffnells Parcels Express depot in Essex. The firm was fined £150,000.00 for breach of the Health & Safety at Work Act and ordered to pay £19,000.00 costs.

Their employee was injured when he was working on a night shift as a warehouse porter. An articulated 45ft trailer was being reversed into an open loading bay while he waited to unload it. He noticed that the trailer was not straight. Thinking it had stopped moving, he put his head round the back of the trailer to shout instructions to the driver. As he did this, the trailer reversed further, crushing his head against a brick wall.

Severe Brain Injuries

He suffered severe brain injuries requiring several operations and constant care for months. Since then he has returned to work but continues to suffer from some long-term effects of his injury.

During an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive it was found that Tuffnells had not assessed, controlled or properly managed the risks arising from vehicle movement in their depot. The firm had also failed to provide a safe system of work for its employees.

Helen Shakespeare, a solicitor specialising in brain injury compensation claims at Thompsons Solicitors’ Serious Injuries Team, said: “Risk assessments are neither difficult
nor time consuming. There is no excuse for this employer's failure to carry out a proper risk assessment. The failure to risk assess in this instance has resulted in devastating and life changing injuries to a man who was simply doing his job.”