A recent case serves as a stark reminder to haulage firms that do not take the health and safety risks posed by hazardous weather conditions seriously.
An HGV driver suffered serious injuries when his lorry was blown over in high winds and, as a result, has won an £86,000 out-of-court settlement from his former employer.
Brian Young, 54, was expected to carry on working in high winds. His 15-foot-high lorry was filled with empty plastic bottles. While heading north, the vehicle was blown over by high winds and crashed into a stone wall. Mr Young suffered a shattered ankle and shin as well as a compound double wrist fracture and multiple lacerations. He was trapped in the vehicle for some time before he was found.
As a result of his injuries, Mr Young is no longer able to work.
Mr Young brought a claim against his former employers, arguing that they should not have sent him out in the lorry since it was too light to be driven in the gales that were being experienced around the country at the time. It emerged that eight other lorries owned by the same company had overturned in high winds that year.
Although Mr Young’s employers did not admit liability for the accident, they agreed to pay an out-of-court settlement of £86,000.
Employers have a duty to protect the health and safety of their employees. Those who drive for a living have the same right to protection as those who work in other industries who are put at risk by prevailing weather conditions. After the settlement was agreed, Mr Young said, “I wanted to highlight the dangers posed to haulage companies in high winds and want to prevent similar accidents from happening again in the future. The risks posed to the drivers themselves, not to mention other road users, are huge.”
If you have been injured at work through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact us to discuss the circumstances of your injury and for advice on how to proceed.