Eurocentral parcel delivery firm admits safety failings after worker's death

A parcel delivery firm has admitted safety failings after a worker was crushed to death at its Eurocentral depot.

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David Kennedy, 43, had just started training on new equipment for moving trailers when the tragedy happened. He was rushed to hospital with serious chest injuries but died two days later.

Hermes Parcelnet Limited this week admitted that its breaches of health and safety legislation led to the worker's death in March 2019. Imran Bashir, prosecuting, said married Mr Kennedy had been with the company for around 20 years and was described as a "competent and hard-working" employee. The company had introduced trailer movers at its depots and workers like Mr Kennedy were being shown how to attach these to trailers and move the trailers in and out.

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At some stage, while under supervision, Mr Kennedy "inadvertently" pressed a button which forced the mover forward. He was struck on the chest and pinned against a trailer. He was in "severe" pain but conscious and was rushed to Wishaw General Hospital.

Mr Kennedy was then transferred to a surgical unit in Glasgow but died the following day. Mr Bashir said the night shift worker had started his training on the trailer mover only 30 minutes before. At that point he should have still been at the "classroom assessment" stage.

Mr Bashir told the court: "Training on the trailer itself should not have taken place until the second hour. CCTV shows the trainer was at times in a position where he was unable to correct mistakes.”

Mr Bashir said a Health and Safety Executive probe showed that a risk assessment document in relation to the trailer mover had not been seen by operatives.

He added: "Some operatives did not feel comfortable using the mover and felt training should have lasted longer."

Hermes had been assured by depot general managers throughout the UK that its implementation had been going well. The lawyer added: "In hindsight, the company accepts that this assurance shouldn’t been accepted without some form of independent confirmation.”

Sheriff Colin Dunipace adjourned sentencing to a later date.