Fleet News

Diesel protection advised for drivers

Fleet operators have been advised to recommend that their drivers should use gloves when filling up with diesel, whether from a fuel depot on company premises or from a commercial filling station.

The advice follows a court order that a company must pay £1,800 in compensation to a driver who was injured as he filled his work van with diesel at his employer’s premises.

Dawson Holdings was ordered to pay William Smith from Bournemouth the money after he was injured filling the tank using a hand-held nozzle.

As he did so, diesel blew back from the tank of the van and went directly on to his hands.

Mr Smith suffered from irritant contact dermatitis as a result.

The fuel pump did not have a protective guard and Mr Smith was not provided with gloves to protect his hands.

“In this case it seems the court, on considering the evidence, found that there must have been a duty upon the employer to protect from this risk and provide gloves for use when filling tanks,” said David Faithful from Lyons Davidson solicitors.

“It would clearly be sensible in light of this decision for fleets to advise their drivers to use gloves when filling up with diesel wherever they are, if they do not already do so.”

Representing the man, Laura Murray from Thompsons Solicitors said: “This case highlights the need for employers to provide their workers with protective clothing.

“Although the risks involved in this task were assessed, protective gloves were not made readily available to employees, nor were employees aware that they were necessary or available.”

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