A COMPANY has been fined £170,000 after a worker was killed by a runaway HGV.

YCT Ltd, based in Stanford-le-Hope, admitted failing to ensure its employees were not exposed to serious health and safety risks which ultimately led to a driver being crushed by his own vehicle.

Martin Greenwood, from Basildon, was an experienced driver working for YCT Ltd at Thurrock Parkway in Tilbury.

On October 20, 2015, he was in the middle of coupling a trailer to the tractor unit of an HGV when the whole vehicle began rolling forward.

The court heard how Mr Greenwood ran to the front and tried to enter the cab to apply the brake but was crushed between his vehicle and another.

Another employee realised what had happened and ran to raise the alarm in the office.

Sadly, Mr Greenwood suffered fatal injuries and died that day.

Prosecuting on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive, Briony Clarke said: “Another employee said that drivers would not use the manual parking brake on the trailer.

“A culture had developed where many drivers were not using the trailer brake and were relying on the tractor brakes to prevent the whole unit from moving. This process is unsafe as, in the event it fails, the vehicle would move.

“It also appears that drivers were not checking the tractor parking brake had been applied.”

She went on to state no one was appointed to be responsible for the company’s health and safety and there were no in-work risk assessments.

Mitigating, Fiona Canby said: “YCT wishes to express its condolences and regret to the family of Mr Greenwood.

“The assumption that the company had made was that drivers would be competent in coupling and uncoupling trailers which was the wrong assumption to make.”

Sentencing the company, District Judge John Woollard said: “This is not rocket science. Somebody should have been checking that the drivers were trained and checking the brakes.

“The victim impact statement from his mother was very moving and it is clear that the incident has had a devastating affect on his family and friends.”

The company were fined £170,000 plus prosecution and court costs. The judge also ordered the company pay £2,625 in compensation to cover funeral costs for Mr Greenwood.