The Royal Mail postal company has been fined £90,000 after its failure to follow health and safety laws resulted in the death of one of its workers. They are now at risk of being pursued for a work accident compensation claim by the deceased’s family.
Colin Smith was crushed to death during a freak accident at the Heathrow International Distribution Centre near Slough in 2006. He suffered terrible injuries and was killed after he was caught between a reversing lorry and its trailer. The lorry was unfortunately being driven by his colleague and friend Ian Wheeler, who understandably is distraught about the incident. It was proved that Mr Smith was standing in a substantial blind spot for the driver at the time of the incident.
Royal Mail admitted to failing to fulfil the full Health and Safety requirements at the Slough yard. It acknowledged that it had failed to foresee such a danger and done a full risk assessment on the distribution centre. The company was fined £90,000 and ordered to pay £42,500 costs at Reading Crown Court. Mr Wheeler had earlier been cleared of any wrongdoing or recklessness during the incident.
The Royal Mail has since introduced new safety measures to prevent any such accident from happening again.