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Firm fined PS120k after lorry driver crushed and killed.

Byline: Benjamin Wright newsdesk@walesonline.co.uk

AFIRM has been fined PS120,000 after a lorry driver was crushed and killed by heavy graphite parts while unloading his vehicle, The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has con-firmed. Ahmet Yakar, 52, was struck by parts weighing up to a quarter-ofa-tonne each in the fatal incident at Morganite Electrical Carbon Ltd in Morriston, Swansea. Yesterday the company was prosecuted by the HSE for failing to ensure an unloading operation was properly and safely managed.

Swansea Crown Court was told that Mr Yakar, a Turkish national who did not speak English, was reluctant to open up the sides of his curtain-sided lorry as he arrived to make a delivery at Morganite on July 19, 2011.

Instead, he was supplied with a hand-operated pallet truck to move the boxes to the back of the lorry, where they were transferred to a forklift truck. HSE officials said during the operation, the boxes - at the time stacked four high - became unstable and the top box toppled and knocked him off the lorry. The next box toppled onto him as he lay on the floor, they said, and despite efforts to free and revive him, Mr Yakar died at the scene.

HSE's investigation found that Morganite "did not have safe working procedures for receiving and unloading delivery vehicles and did not carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for unloading at the site".

The firm also had no set policy for dealing with drivers who did not speak English.

In court, the company, based in Upper Fforest Way, was fined a total of PS120,000 and ordered to pay a further PS16,021 in costs after pleading guilty to single breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Steve Lewis, said: "This tragic incident could have been avoided had Morganite carried out a proper risk assessment of the unloading procedure and insisted Mr Yakar open the curtain sides to the truck instead of unloading from the rear of the vehicle.

"The company failed to provide their employees with suitable instructions and safe systems of work for accepting lorry deliveries to site.

They should have taken responsibility for the driver's safety and the delivery and unloading operation.

"Mr Yakar and his family in Turkey have paid the ultimate price for Morganite's carelessness in this regard."
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 18, 2014
Words:408
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