Hermes fined £850,000 after worker crushed to death at Eurocentral depot

A parcel delivery company has been fined £850,000 after a man was crushed to death by a 2.4 tonne vehicle at a depot in Lanarkshire.

Sign up to our GlasgowWorld Today newsletter

Hermes Parcelnet, now called Evri, pled guilty to health and safety breaches at Hamilton Sheriff Court on Monday, May 23.

At about 10.15pm on March 19 2019, 43-year-old David Kennedy was crushed by a trailer mover in the Hermes Depot at Eurocentral, near Holytown.

Sign up to our GlasgowWorld Today newsletter

The vehicle, which weighs about 2.4 tonnes, can transport lorry trailers of up to 20 tonnes.

Mr Kennedy was crushed between these two trailers and the mover Pic: Police Scotland

Mr Kennedy, from Clydebank, was using the mover to reposition a loaded lorry trailer when he was struck in the chest by the head of the vehicle. He was then pinned against a stationary trailer.

He was taken to hospital but died from his injuries two days later.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the company failed to ensure their in-house trainer at Eurocentral was given enough instruction on how the training should be delivered.

No-one on site had ensured that appropriate training was taking place.

David Kennedy was crushed by a trailer mover Pic: Crown Office

Company training records show that towing a trailer should not take place until the second hour of training. However, it was found that Mr Kennedy had started his practical training just 30 minutes prior to the incident.

He had already moved a laden trailer with the mover.

The company also failed to ensure that two trained banksmen were available at all relevant times during the training. The court heard the trainer was, at times, in a position where it was unlikely he would have been able to identify errors from trainees.

Following the incident, all movers were removed from Hermes UK sites.

Alistair Duncan, head of the Health and Safety Investigation Unit of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, said: “David Kennedy lost his life in circumstances which were foreseeable and entirely avoidable.

“By failing to identify the risks arising from providing training to employees in the operation of a trailer mover, Hermes Parcelnet Limited put their employees at unacceptable risk.

“This prosecution should remind other employers that failing to keep their employees safe can have fatal consequences and they will be held accountable for this failure.

“Our thoughts are with Mr Kennedy’s family at this difficult time.”