Richard Dawson represented both the Operator and driver of a skip hire company, who had been called to a combined Public Inquiry and Driver Conduct Hearing, following the loss of a skip while in transit.

The driver was transporting two empty skips, one nestled inside the other. The bottom skip had the lifting chains attached to it. For reasons unknown, the top skip was lost in transit. It came to rest on the road, blocking the carriageway.

Initially, the Traffic Commissioner was firm in his view that fault must lie with the driver – assuming that the skips must have been improperly stacked.

However, he was persuaded that, in fact, this was simply an accident and that neither the driver nor Operator were at fault.

The TC acknowledged that, following his own enquiries with DVSA, there was no requirement to strap two skips – and that strapping of two skips was not general practice within the skip industry.

Notwithstanding, the driver had completed a further Driver CPC module specific to load security. Irrespective of requirements, of his own volition, the driver had determined to always use ratchet straps whenever transporting any number of skips (guidance only requires straps when carrying three or more skips).

Ultimately, after careful consideration of the evidence before him, the TC decided to take no further action against the LGV entitlement of the driver. A formal warning was issued to the Operator for the skip loss incident.

Thanks to Lisa Fleming, Managing Director of Logico, expert transport compliance consultants, for her careful handling and detailed preparation of these combined cases.

Richard Dawson is an accomplished trial lawyer, specialising in transport law, defending companies and individuals facing regulatory investigation and prosecution.