Self-employed haulage contractor killed by reversing lorry

A Swinton transport company and a director were in court today following the death of an HGV company owner at their Sandywood Industrial Estate.

Daniel Adams, 63, of Farnworth, rented a unit on the industrial estate owned by Alec Sharples Farm Supplies and Transport Limited where the fatal incident occurred on the 7 May 2014.

Manchester Crown Court heard how Mr Adams had been working on one of his own lorries when an HGV owned by Alec Sharples reversed into Mr Adam’s section of the yard.

The HGV driver spoke with Mr Adams. However, when the conversation was over the HGV driver reversed his truck, inadvertently crushing Mr Adam’s between the two vehicles. Daniel Adams was taken to Salford Royal Hospital where he died of internal injuries two days later.

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which prosecuted Alec Sharples Farm Supplies and Transport Limited for serious safety failings in the organisation and operation of the site.

The HSE investigation found the firm had failed to implement a safe system of work for reversing HGV’s and training drivers. There was no segregation of pedestrians and HGV’s or any banksmen provided.

Alec Sharples Farm Supplies and Transport Ltd of Roscow Road, Kearsley, Bolton pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Ian Betley said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the host company to implement safe systems of work, and failure to ensure that health and safety documentation was communicated and followed.

“This risk was further amplified by the company’s failure to undertake a number of simple safety measures including segregating vehicles and pedestrians, ensuring that vehicles were fitted with reversing ‘bleepers’, and ensuring that reversing manoeuvres were supervised, in accordance with their site rules.

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Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:
  3. Further HSE news releases are available at

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