South West Wales

Morganite Electrical Carbon's £120,000 fine for driver death

A firm has been fined £120,000 after a driver was crushed and killed by heavy graphite parts while unloading his lorry, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said.

Turkish national Ahmet Yakar, 52, who did not speak English, was hit by parts weighing up to a quarter of a tonne each at Morganite Electrical Carbon.

The HSE's prosecution was for failing to ensure the operation was not properly and safely managed.

The Swansea firm admitted the breaches.

According to the HSE, Mr Yakar was reluctant to open up the curtain sides of his lorry as he arrived to make a delivery at Morganite in July 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.

No set policy

During the operation, the boxes which were stacked four high became unstable and the top box toppled and knocked the driver off the lorry.

The next box toppled onto him as he lay on the floor. Despite efforts to free and revive him, he died at the scene.

HSE's investigation found that Morganite did not have safe working procedures for receiving and unloading delivery vehicles and also had no set policy for dealing with drivers who did not speak English.

Speaking after the hearing at Swansea Crown Court, HSE inspector Steve Lewis, said the incident could have been avoided had proper risk assessments of the unloading procedure been carried out.

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

"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."

Morganite Electrical Carbon Ltd was fined a total of £120,000 and ordered to pay a further £16,021 in costs after admitting the health and safety breaches.

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