Reason Transport fined £5,000 in connection with death of HGV driver Petru Pop

Reason Transport has been fined £5,000 after pleading guilty to charges in connection with the death of HGV driver Petru Pop.

Pop was crushed to death by a 1.4 tonne pallet of tiles he was attempting to unload at a residential address in High Wycombe in November 2016.

Reason Transport said after the trial that it was the “inaccurate labelling of pallet weights” that was the cause of Pop’s death.

However Rase Distribution chairman Geoff Hill, who has long campaigned for better regulation of pallet weights, condemned the size of the fine and said it was “an insult” to Pop and his family.

Reason Transport – a member of Palletways at the time of the accident – appeared at High Wycombe Magistrates Court last week after pleading guilty to charges under section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act which states: ‘It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.’

Pop was working for driver agency Bespoke Global Resourcing at the time of the accident and had been hired by Reason Transport UK, which has since gone into liquidation. It was owned by Alan Reason, who also owns Reason Transport.

In a statement Reason Transport said: “The fine announced relates to Oxfordshire-based Reason Transport UK Ltd, which ceased trading in 2017 due to issues with the viability and scale of the delivery areas within the Palletways network.

“This tragic accident was due to the industry-wide issue of inaccurate labelling of pallet weights, leading to the handling of an overweight pallet.

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“Our thoughts are with the driver’s family and we fully support industry wide efforts to ensure that pallet weights are limited and accurately reported throughout the delivery process to protect all drivers in the UK.”

Geoff Hill said he was shocked at the size of the fine.

“All I can say is that life must be very cheap and Petru Pop’s family must be very, very aggrieved. That is a paltry amount and an insult to the family.

“However that is not to put the entire blame on Reason Transport. The whole supply chain let down Petru Pop and his family. I think Reason Transport was to an extent, the sacrificial lamb in this case and there have been no consequences whatsoever for the rest of the supply chain at all.”

Hill called for action from the HSE to deliver guidance on pallet weights.

Since 2015 the industry working group, in partnership with the HSE, has been attempting to create industry guidance on pallet weights.

However, despite significant industry concern about the lack of weight limits on pallets designated for tail lift deliveries – particularly to domestic addresses – the industry guidance has yet to be published.

Last year the HSE’s recommendations were passed to the pallet weight working group, which then put together draft guidance. This was passed back for approval to HSE early this year. The HSE has yet to approve the guidance.

Hill added: “The guidelines on the handling of pallet weights need to be published as soon as possible and placed in the public domain so that courts can use these for any similar cases going forward, because this case does not provide any deterrent whatsoever.”

The post Reason Transport fined £5,000 in connection with death of HGV driver Petru Pop appeared first on Motor Transport.

Reason Transport has been fined £5,000 after pleading guilty to charges in connection with the death of HGV driver Petru Pop. Pop was crushed to death by a 1.4 tonne pallet of tiles he was attempting to unload at a residential address in High Wycombe in November 2016. Reason Transport said after the trial that it was the “inaccurate labelling of pallet weights” that was the cause of Pop’s death. However Rase Distribution chairman Geoff Hill, who has long campaigned […]
The post Reason Transport fined £5,000 in connection with death of HGV driver Petru Pop appeared first on Motor Transport.Read More

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