Moores Turf & Top Soil Ltd fined for worker’s death

Kent aggregate company Moores Turf & Top Soil Ltd has been ordered to pay £180,000 in fines and costs after a worker died while delivering building materials to a house in Wittersham, in November 2006.
Brian Peek, 57, from Ashford, was pronounced dead at the scene where he had been unloading bags of hardcore and aggregate in his truck, where he got trapped between the lifting bucket and the vehicle.

Moores Turf & Top Soil Ltd, of Callington Court Farm in Romney Marsh, admitted breaching the Health and Safety Act, at Canterbury Crown Court.

HSE principal inspector, Mike Walters, said: “Brian Peek’s tragic death could and should have been prevented. The lifting equipment on the lorry was badly maintained and simply wasn’t safe for use. It was also unnecessary because the firm had better equipment more suited to the job, which could have been used instead.

“Had Moores Turf & Top Soil taken time to properly assess the risks associated with the delivery of bulky bags of hardcore and aggregate, it would have become clear that a safer method of working was necessary and could be used.

“Employers must ensure that they properly maintain lifting equipment and that they provide their employees with the most suitable and appropriate equipment for the tasks they undertake. They must also ensure that safe systems of work are followed on site during the unloading of goods from vehicles.”

The firm has been fined a total of £85,000 plus a further £97,791 in costs.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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