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15th November 2011

Manchester waste firm in court after forklift hits worker

A Trafford firm, which treats industrial waste, has appeared in court after one of its employees suffered life-threatening injuries when he was hit by a forklift truck.

The company was recently prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a 35-tonne vehicle reversed into a worker at its plant in Trafford Park on 14 January 2010.

The 60-year-old from Wirral suffered severe injuries in the incident, including damage to internal organs and multiple broken bones. He was in hospital for several months and has suffered some permanent injuries.

The HSE investigation found the company did not have sufficient systems in place to protect workers from reversing vehicles on the site. This could have included having marked walkways, a one-way system or making sure any reversing vehicles were guided by another worker on the ground.

The company admitted a breach of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 by failing to make sure pedestrians and vehicles could work safely.

The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £9,410 in prosecution costs at Trafford Magistrates’ Court in Sale on 4 November 2011.

Speaking after the hearing, the HSE Inspector involved in the case said:

“This was an entirely preventable incident which could have cost one of Collier’s employees his life.

“There were several systems the company could have introduced to make sure workers were not put at risk by moving vehicles. Most of these would have been simple and inexpensive.

“If another worker had stood on the ground to guide the forklift truck as it reversed then this incident could have been avoided.”

Detailed Information on vehicle safety in workplaces is available at www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport.

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