Parcel delivery firm fined £850,000 after industrial accident at Eurocentral that led to man's death in hospital two days later

A parcel delivery firm was fined £850,000 this week after a worker was crushed to death at a depot.

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Hammy sheriff
Hammy sheriff

David Kennedy, 43, had just started training on new equipment for moving trailers when he was involved in a horror accident. He was rushed to hospital with serious chest injuries but died two days later.

Hermes Parcelnet Limited admitted that breaches of health and safety legislation led to the worker's death at Eurocentral, Lanarkshire, in March 2019. A sheriff said the tragedy could have been avoided had “significant failings” in training been addressed.

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Imran Bashir, prosecuting, told Hamilton Sheriff Court that Mr Kennedy had been with the company for around 20 years and was described as "competent and hard-working".

The company had introduced trailer movers and workers were being shown how to attach these and move trailers in and out of loading bays. Mr Bashir said the night shift worker had started his training only 30 minutes before the accident. 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.There was no appropriate supervision. The other two men with Mr Kennedy should have been acting as 'banksmen' and telling him if he was too close to a stationary trailer.

"CCTV shows the trainer was at times in a position where he was unable to see and correct any mistakes that were being made."

It appeared Mr Kennedy had inadvertently pressed a button that caused the mover and attached trailer to come towards him, pinning him against another trailer.

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

"In hindsight, the company accepts that this assurance should not have been accepted without some form of independent confirmation taking place."

The company, which made a profit of £106 million last year, was given 28 days to pay the fine which was cut from £1.25 million because of its guilty plea.