Major transport firm hit with £1.9m fine after worker killed by HGV

Two major transport companies have been fined a combined total of £2.2m after ‘a loving dad and husband’ was killed when he was hit by a HGV in Birmingham.

Neil Roberts, 60, was a depot manager of Turners (Soham) Limited when he was struck by a reversing HGV on 30 August 2019. The incident happened at the premises of The Haulage Group Ltd (previously known as Howell Group Ltd), on Inkerman Street, when the vehicle reversed out of a parking space in the transport yard.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the companies had failed to manage the risk associated with workplace transport.

In a statement issued by his family, Mr Roberts, from the West Midlands, was described as ‘a loving dad’ and ‘caring husband’.

“He did anything and everything he could to provide for his family,” they said.

“Family meant everything to him, he wasn’t a man of many words, he mainly showed his emotions through doing and showing you how much he cared. He was always there to help.

“Dad has left a massive hole in all of our lives, and nothing will be able to fill that.

“Not a day goes by where we don’t think of him and wish he was still here with us and how unfair it all is.

“Nearly four years have passed, and every happy moment since has been tinged with sadness and every happy moment going forward will be tinged with sadness as Dad isn’t here.”

Turners (Soham) Limited of Fordham Road, Newmarket, Suffolk pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £1.9m and ordered to pay costs of £7,300.

The Haulage Group Ltd of Unit 28 Maybrook Business Park, Minworth, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,300.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Principal Inspector Amy Kalay said: “This tragic incident was completely preventable.

“Both companies failed to recognise and control the risks associated with workplace transport, and in particular the dangers of reversing vehicles and poor visibility.

“The principle of ensuring pedestrians and vehicles are kept apart is well known and the measures needed to ensure separation and control the risk need not be complicated.

“If the companies had acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and to put a safe system of work in place, this incident would not have happened.”