Hermes admits breaking safety laws after worker crushed to death at Lanarkshire sorting center

A parcel delivery company has admitted safety breaches after a worker was crushed to death at its Lanarkshire depot.

David Kennedy, 43, had just started training on new equipment for moving trailers when he was involved in an accident.

He was rushed to hospital with serious chest injuries but died two days later.

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Hermes Parcelnet Limited has admitted breaches of health and safety legislation led to the death of the worker at Eurocentral in March 2019.

Imran Bashir, prosecuting, told Hamilton Sheriff Court that Mr Kennedy had worked for the company for around 20 years and was described as a “knowledgeable and hard-working” employee.

The company employed up to 100 people at its Eurocentral depot where parcels were loaded and unloaded 24 hours a day.

The company had introduced trailer movers into its depots and workers were being taught how to attach them to trailers and move trailers in and out of loading docks.

Mr Bashir said the night shift worker only started training 30 minutes before the crash.

At that point, he should have still been at the “classroom assessment” stage.

Mr Bashir told the court: “The training on the trailer itself should not have taken place until the second hour.

“Furthermore, there was no proper supervision. The other two men with Mr Kennedy should have acted as ‘bankers’ and told him if he was too close to a stationary trailer.

“CCTV shows that the trainer was at times in a position where he was unable to see and correct mistakes that were made.”

Mr Bashir added: ‘Some officers did not feel comfortable with the mover and felt the training should have lasted longer.’

Hermès, which has since been renamed Evri, has never been convicted of health and safety violations.

His lawyer said he took the matters “extremely seriously” and expressed his “sincere sympathy” to Mr Kennedy’s family.

Hermes had been assured by managing directors of depots across the UK that the implementation of the new trailer moving system had gone smoothly.

The lawyer added: ‘In hindsight, the company accepts that this assurance should not have been accepted without some form of independent confirmation.’

Sheriff Colin Dunipace said: ‘I appreciate the tremendous sense of loss that family and friends must feel. My deepest sympathy goes out to all those affected by this tragedy. »

The sheriff will sentence the company next month.

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