Author Archives: HSE

Haulage firm fined after man went to work and didn’t come home

An Oldham-based haulage company has been fined more than £85,000 after a fork lift truck driver was killed while loading a heavy goods vehicle (HGV).

Ian Dawson, 60, of Rochdale, was loading pallets onto the HGV at Chorlton Express Transport Limited on 19 November 2020. As he was doing this, the HGV moved forward, causing the fork lift truck to overturn. Mr Dawson, who was not wearing a seat belt, was trapped beneath the vehicle, and died as a result of his injuries.

Fork lift truck diver Ian Dawson was killed while unloading a HGV in Oldham

His partner Jane Medhurst, described the last moment she saw him, before they both left for work on that fateful day.

“We told each other, ‘love you’, kissed and said, ‘see you later.’

“What happened that day was so catastrophic. It has drastically changed my life. I still find it difficult to cope with the loss of Ian.

“He loved his food and months after his death I still found myself shopping for him. Thinking oh that’s one of Ian’s favourites I will buy that. Even though I knew he was not here anymore.

“Although I now realise Ian will never come home again and I have now had to move out of the house we shared, it still haunts me that he is gone. It was so sudden and unexpected that I never got a chance to say goodbye to him.”

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Chorlton Express Transport Limited of Meek Street in Oldham, had failed to put sufficient safe systems of work in place regarding vehicle movements, or to ensure that all fork lift truck drivers were compelled to wear seat belts. A court heard that, had Mr Dawson been wearing a seat belt, it is highly likely that this would have saved his life.

Ian Dawson was very much loved by his friends and family

His daughter Caitlin, who was just 19 when her dad died, said it had ‘turned her life upside down’.

“I can still remember getting the phone call that my dad had passed like it was yesterday. At just 19 years old when it happened, and it being the first time losing someone, it felt like my life had turned upside down, especially in the brutal terms it happened.

“To this day, I still sit and cry and the fact that I will never get to say goodbye to my dad. I will never be able to speak to him and he will never be able to take me shopping again, one of the most fond memories I have of him.

“It has been one of the most traumatising experiences of my life and I am still suffering every day because of it.”

The incident happened at Chorlton Express Transport Limited in Oldham

The company pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £86,710 and was ordered to pay £5,903 costs at a hearing at Manchester Magistrates Court on 17 April 2024.

After the hearing HSE inspector Jane Carroll said: “The failures of this company has left a family without the man they loved.

“The importance of wearing seatbelts cannot be stressed enough.

The failures meant the company exposed employees, and others, to the risk of being struck or caught by workplace vehicles.

“All work settings that use a forklift truck to load or unload goods, need to consider the risks arising from their use, and implement adequate measures to ensure the safety of those involved in these activities.”

The prosecution was brought by HSE enforcement lawyer Matthew Reynolds and paralegal officer Lucy Gallagher.


Notes to editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive(HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. More information about the legislationreferred to in this case is available.
  3. Further details on the latest HSE news releasesis available.
  4. Guidance for working safely with vehicles is available.

Rogue trader spared immediate spell behind bars after unsafe gas work

A self-employed rogue trader has been handed a suspended prison sentence after carrying out illegal gas work in Gloucestershire. Christian Davis falsely claimed he was Gas Safe Registered but had actually been removed from the register due to concerns about the standard of his work and his competency. Trading as BS1 Plumbing and Heating, the … read more

Shipping Services company fined after worker loses finger

A company which provides shipping services, cargo handling and storage has been fined after a worker severed part of his finger while at work. Dundee Sheriff Court heard that on 13 July 2021 Gordon McMillan, 55 at the time of the incident, works as a ‘stevedore’ (steve-eh-door), a role which involves the dockside loading and … read more

Aviation company fined after worker death at Heathrow Airport

An aviation company has been fined £160,000 after a man, described by his family as a “legend”, was crushed to death at London Heathrow Airport during the unloading of baggage containers from an aircraft. The man was working for Dnata Limited, a provider of ground handling and cargo services to major airlines, at Terminal 3 … read more

Company fined as worker has leg amputated

A company that grows mushrooms has been fined after an employee’s leg became trapped in a machine and was later amputated. Luka Ilic’s right leg was caught by the rotating blades of a mushroom filling machine and became stuck in the device’s moving parts on 16 October 2019. He was part of a team of … read more