Two truck operators have been fined a total of £359,000 after an HGV driver was crushed to death beneath a pack of steel gates he was unloading from his flatbed trailer.

Andrew Bailey-Machin, 41, suffered fatal injuries when the load fell three metres onto him in the incident at the premises of LM Bateman & Company in June 2018.

The vehicle had been loaded with the gates at Joseph Ash in Telford and Bailey-Machin had driven it to his employer LM Bateman in Cheddleton.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that arrangements for planning and restraining loads were inadequate to ensure that the stability of goods was independent of the load straps and that release of the straps did not allow the load to fall from the vehicle.

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LM Bateman and Company, which operates 13 HGVs under a restricted licence, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £16,334 and a victim surcharge of £100.

Joseph Ash, which holds a standard operator licence authorising 28 vehicles, also pleaded guilty to breaches and was fined £239,000, ordered to pay costs of £17,834 and a victim surcharge of £100.

HSE inspector Wendy Campbell said: “This death would have been prevented had an effective system for managing load restraint been in place at both companies.

“This is a reminder to all companies of the need to properly assess and apply effective control measures when securing loads to minimise the risks from transporting goods on road vehicles.”