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18th April 2023

Company Fined £600,000 After Forklift Truck Incident

forklift truck transporting products

What’s Happened?

A manufacturing company has recently been fined £600,000 after a worker’s leg was crushed by a forklift truck.

The employee was working at the companies Birmingham site at the time of the incident. He had been walking across a pedestrian crossing at the site when a forklift truck (that was being driven by another worker), collided with him, crushing his leg and ankle.

The driver did not slow down while approaching the pedestrian crossing, and his vision was restricted as the forklift truck was carrying multiple intermediate bulk containers (IBCs).

The injured worker suffered significant injury which required surgery and skin grafts following the incident.

HSE Investigation

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident found a number of key failing which contributed to the incident arising

  • The company had failed to provide an adequate risk assessment and safe system of work relating to workplace transport activities.
  • There was a lack of appropriate supervision at the site.
  • Staff had adopted an unsafe custom and practice on site.

The company attended Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on 3 April 2023 where they pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £600,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,188.60.

After the verdict the HSE inspector involved int the case said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by the employer adequately assessing the risks and ensuring a suitable workplace transport system was implemented with correct management and supervision in place.

Workplace Transport Safety

Vehicles at work continue to be a major cause of fatal and major injuries. Every year there are over 5000 incidents involving transport in the workplace and about 50 of these result in people being killed.

Carrying out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment is key in order to manage the risks from workplace transport effectively. In basic terms this is a careful examination of what, in your work, could harm people. It helps you decide whether you have done enough to prevent anyone coming to harm or need to do more.

To manage the risks from workplace transport effectively, it’s important to consider three key areas:

  • Safe site
  • Safe vehicles
  • Safe drivers

The HSE has produced a range of freely available guidance documents covering key areas of the above.

However if you have any queries do not hesitate to call the Lighthouse H&S advice line on 0300 303 5228.

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