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ADT brake failure results in £10,000 fine

HSE prosecution

Plant hire company fined after worker injured because of articulated dumptruck brake failure

A HAMPSHIRE plant hire firm has been fined £10,000 for failing to maintain the braking system on an articulated dumptruck (ADT). Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court heard how Nelson Plant Hire failed to ensure the ADT was subject to a regular maintenance regime, resulting in a worker being seriously injured.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident in Andover on 11 May 2018 found that the operator of a large Volvo ADT was working on a construction site at the top of a steep slope adjacent to a public road.

Whilst the operator was reversing the truck to carry out a tipping operation, the brakes failed to function. Consequently, he lost control of the vehicle, which careered backwards across a busy A-road and tipped on to its side.

The operator’s injuries included multiple fractured ribs and a punctured lung.

The HSE investigation determined that the ADT had not been subject to a maintenance regime in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the brakes did not function correctly.

Nelson Plant Hire, who pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER98) for failing to maintain the plant, were fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,826.70.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Dominic Goacher said: ‘It is essential that construction plant is correctly maintained, and all plant operators need to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in respect of maintenance.

‘Companies should be aware that the HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.’

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