Kent-based tyre company Watling Tyre Service Limited has been fine £1 million and will have to pay almost 10 per cent more on top as costs after it was sentenced for safety failings. The case follows the death of 21-year-old Matthew Hoare, from Canterbury in an incident that took place 10 years ago.
Matthew Hoare, died while repairing a puncture to the tyre of a ‘dresser loading shovel’ when it exploded. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Matthew was working on his own with inadequate work equipment which was not properly maintained. HSE also said Hoare was not trained or competent to undertake the work he was told to complete.
Local newspaper Kent Online reported that there were problems with Hoare’s equipment too: “an air compressor didn’t show the tyre pressure, a heavy duty wrench was ‘inoperative’ and there were faults with the air-operated hydraulic jack was faulty.”
Watling Tyre Service Limited pleaded guilty, at a previous hearing on 29 January 2016, to breaches of Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. On 1 June the firm was fined £1 million and ordered to pay costs of £99,485.
On 11 May Watling director Andrew Wright was found not guilty of failing in his duty of care. The jury at Canterbury Crown Court took just three hours to find him not guilty. Kent Online quoted Wright as saying: “I am delighted with the verdict of the jury but saddened by the time it has taken to come to court,” adding: “My thoughts are with the family and friends of Matthew Hoare.”
Tyres & Accessories has contacted Watling Tyres for further comment.
After the hearing, HSE Principal Inspector Mike Walters said: “Employees need to be provided with properly maintained equipment and the correct equipment to undertake tasks whilst out on site. Employees also need to be trained and competent in the tasks they were asked to undertake.”
Further tyre removal advice can be found here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/mvr/mechanical-repair/tyreremoval.htm