Motor repairer fined after work experience student is crushed to death

News Article

A vehicle repair company has been fined after a 27 year old man, who had been gaining work experience at the garage, was crushed to death by a vehicle.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard how, in December 2014, Muhammed Zohaib Yasin, had been working at Just Mercedes Limited and had been watching another employee carry out repair work on a Vauxhall Corsa.

Mr Yasin was at the front of the vehicle as he added some antifreeze to the engine. The mechanic went to the driver’s side opened the door and turned the ignition on from outside of the vehicle. The vehicle shot forward, trapping and crushing the young man, who later died from his injuries.

A Health and Safety (HSE) investigation found no defects with the vehicle, but discovered it had instead been left in gear with the handbrake off.

The HSE also found that the employees of Just Mercedes Limited had not been given any specific instructions on selecting gears and use of handbrake when parking vehicles on or off ramps. No specific instructions had been given to employees on operating the ignition from outside of the vehicle and there was no system in place for storage of keys.

HSE inspector, Lisa Bailey, said after the hearing: “Had the company ensured employees were trained and instructed on moving vehicles around the garage safely, then this tragic incident might not have occurred.”

Just Mercedes Ltd, of Wythenshawe, Manchester, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and were fined £33,000 with £12,000 costs.

Lara Murray, a health and safety legal expert with Palmers, said: “This fatal incident not only demonstrates that HSE takes a tough stance on breaches in workplace safety, but also serves as an important reminder that comprehensive workplace risk assessments and correct training can reduce wholly preventable accidents of this kind.”

For further information on the full range of health and safety legal advice offered by Palmers, please contact us.