Beds, Herts & Bucks

Travis Perkins fined £2m after customer death

Travis Perkins, Wolverton Image copyright Google
Image caption Mr Pointer was crushed by a company vehicle at Travis Perkins in Old Wolverton in 2012

A builders' merchants has been fined £2m after a customer was killed at its yard in Milton Keynes.

Mark John Pointer, 44, from Leighton Buzzard, died after being crushed by a company vehicle at Travis Perkins Trading Company Limited in Old Wolverton in November 2012.

The company had earlier pleaded guilty at Amersham Crown Court to two Health and Safety offences.

Judge Justin Cole said it "was an accident waiting to happen".

'Devastating consequences'

Mr Pointer was loading planks onto the roof rack of his Land Rover, when he fell backwards after it appeared one of the cargo straps he was using snapped.

He fell to the ground where he was run over by a company vehicle operating in the yard and died from crushing injuries.

The company initially denied the link between the offences and the death but subsequently conceded.

Milton Keynes Council, which investigated the case, said the company had "failed to ensure loading and unloading activities were undertaken in a safe manner in a safe area".

Environmental health team leader, Martin Brown, said: "Individuals falling whilst loading and unloading vehicles is a common risk.

"While the term 'health and safety' is often incorrectly associated with trivial matters, true health and safety breaches can have devastating consequences as they did on this occasion."

As well as the fine the company was also ordered to pay nearly £115,000 prosecution costs.

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