The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been censured by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for the third time in 12 months after a worker was crushed by a reversing vehicle.
On 19th November 2013, Graham Wood had been working at for the MoD as an agency driver through agency, Pertemps. He was working with a colleague to deliver goods to a large holding area at the MoD site in Kineton, Southam when he was crushed between a reversing lorry and another vehicle which was stationary at the time in the holding area, suffering fatal injuries.
Following the incident, a full investigation was carried out by the HSE, who found that that the MoD had failed to assess the risk associated with large vehicles and had not ensured a safe system of work had been put in place in order to clearly identify and control risks.
Since the incident, the MoD has implemented a safe system of work, including marked parking bays, walkways for pedestrians and a one way system.
A Crown Censure is the maximum sanction that the HSE was able to bring against the MoD, which cannot be prosecuted due to its government status. Following the delivery of the censure, Jane Lassey, HSE Deputy Director of Field Operations, commented: “The risks arising from vehicle movements are well known and suitable measures required to reduce these risks are understood. Like any other employer, the MoD has a responsibility to reduce dangers to agency workers, as well as their own employees, on their sites as far as they properly can, and in this case they failed Graham Wood.”
By accepting the Crown Censure, the MoD admitted to breaching its duty under Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by exposing their employees and non-employed individuals to health and safety risks and jeopardising employee welfare.