Parcel company based near Brentwood fined after Romford man’s skull crushed by HGV

A parcel company based in West Horndon has been fined �150,000 after a Romford man’s skull was crushed by a reversing lorry.

Tufnells Parcels Express was also ordered to pay �19,000 in court costs.

Simon Mason, 22, is still suffering some effects from the incident which occurred in March 2010.

Mr Mason had been working as a warehouse porter at the company’s depot in West Horndon Industrial Park, Station Road.

An articulated 45ft HGV trailer was being reversed into an open loading bay while Mr Mason waited to unload it.

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He noticed the trailer was not positioned straight in the bay, so thinking it had stopped moving, put his head round the back of it to shout instructions to the driver.

As he did so, the trailer came back further, crushing his head against the brick bay wall.

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He received severe head injuries, requiring constant care for months, and had to undergo several operations.


The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) investigation found Tufnells had not assessed, controlled, or properly managed the risks arising from vehicle and equipment movements at its West Horndon depot.

It had also failed to provide a safe system of work for its employees.

After the company was sentenced on Monday at Chelmsford Crown Court, HSE Inspector Glyn Davies, said: “Working with moving vehicles is a high risk activity which causes significant numbers of major and fatal injuries every year in this country.

“This horrific incident, in which a young man could have lost his life, would have been avoided had the company’s senior management ensured such risks were properly managed in all of its depots.”

Tufnells, whose head office is in Sheffield, admitted at an earlier hearing breaching a section of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

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