Transport and logistics company Kuehne and Nagel Ltd has been fined £48,287 including costs at Northampton Crown Court having breached the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in connection with an industrial accident at its Wellingborough depot.

A 40-year-old employee sustained back injuries when he fell out of the rear of a delivery vehicle after loading merchandise into it. The vehicle driver wasn’t told of his colleague’s presence and drove away from the delivery bay, causing the man to fall.

Wellingborough Council’s investigation of the December 2009 accident deemed it resulted from a breakdown in safe working procedures. Having found “serious failures” in the company’s health and safety systems it instigated the prosecution. Leadership across the site was lacking and management had insufficient understanding of all the processes on site.

The Council says Kuehne and Nagel has since reviewed its policies and procedures and remedied the situation. Wellingborough Council’s Principal Health Protection Manager commented: “This accident could easily have been avoided if good health and safety management practices had been used. Companies need to make sure they are abiding by health and safety regulations and have considered the potential hazards and risks associated with their business. We can work with companies to assist them in achieving a standard that can help prevent accidents like this occurring.”