A haulage firm has been fined for safety failings after a worker was seriously injured when an unsecured barrel fell from a lorry onto his head. The employee was unloading empty bourbon casks from the vehicle but when the doors were opened by about a foot, one of the casks, weighing more than 40kg, fell from the top level of the van and struck the employee on the head causing serious injuries.

The investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to ensure a suitable system was in place to secure loads. Commenting after the case they said “This was an entirely avoidable incident. Objects falling from height remains one of the most common reasons for injuries and even fatalities at work.

Unsafe loads on vehicles injure more than 1,200 people a year and cost UK businesses millions of pounds in damaged goods.

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