Family hopes lessons are learnt from work fatality of Douglas Skinner

SPR Trailer Services Ltd, based in Walton Road, Felixstowe, was fined £120,000 following the death o

SPR Trailer Services Ltd, based in Walton Road, Felixstowe, was fined £120,000 following the death of Douglas Skinner. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

Family of an Ipswich man who suffered fatal head injuries in an accident at work have said they hope that lessons have been learnt from the tragedy.

Douglas Skinner, 67, of Chesterton Close, died in hospital in January 2015 two days after the scissor-lift platform he was working from tipped over after being clipped by a lorry.

Mr Skinner, who worked part time for SPR Trailer Services Ltd, of Walton Avenue, Felixstowe, was replacing signs by the entrance of the business at the time of the accident.

Last week SPR Trailer Services was fined £120,000 after admitting breaching Health and Safety legislation.

A hearing to decide costs will be heard at a later date.

Sentencing the company Judge Martyn Levett said Mr Skinner’s death had been “avoidable”.

He said the company had failed to carry out a risk assessment for the work to be carried out by and had failed to take basic measures to provide a safe working space.

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The company, which has no previous convictions, had also failed to provide instructions about how the work should be carried out and the work hadn’t been supervised.

After the sentencing hearing SPR Trailer Services managing director Simon Rivers said: “Doug Skinner was a respected, trusted and extremely valued member of staff. His tragic death had a profound effect on SPR Trailer Services Ltd. The company’s thoughts have been and remain with the family.”

Following the hearing Mr Skinner’s family said: “ As a family we are relieved that this investigation has now concluded. It has been a long three years since Douglas died but we feel we now have closure and can remember him as the loving husband and caring dad, grandad that he was.

“No amount of money can replace Doug but we hope that lessons have been learnt and that no other family has to go through what we have.”

Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Norman Macritchie said “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to implement and monitor safe systems of work. The company did not undertake the simple safety measure of segregating those working at height from adjacent workplace transport operations, in line with widely available industry guidance.”

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