Call us now on 0300 303 5228

Latest from the blog

15th November 2023

Manufacturing Company Fined £500K After Forklift Truck Fatality

Forklift truck lifting goods in a warehouse

What’s Happened?

An employee was fatally injured when the forklift truck he was operating overturned at a warehouse depot in Newark.

The 35-year-old father of one was found in the car park trapped under the roll cage of the counterbalance forklift truck (FLT). He had been using the FLT to move waste material around the site when it was understood to have clipped a kerbstone at the edge of the roadway and subsequently overturned. He was not wearing a seatbelt when the incident happened.

HSE Investigation

As is customary for all workplace fatalities, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) visited the premises and undertook an investigation. Inspectors found that the company had failed to enforce the use of seatbelts by forklift truck operators. They should have properly risk-assessed the use of forklift trucks on their premises and enforced the use of seatbelts. However, instead, it transpired that it was common practice to let individuals choose whether to wear a seatbelt or not.

In Court

The company appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on 8 November 2023 where they pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.  As a result, they were fined £500,000 and agreed to pay costs of £7,039.55.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector involved in the case said, “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man. Jamie’s death could easily have been prevented if his employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved and enforced the use of seatbelts by forklift truck operators.”

HSE Guidance

HSE has detailed guidance available on managing forklift truck risks. Within this guidance specific mention of the use of restraining systems (i.e. seat belts) is given:-

Since 2002, counterbalanced trucks must be fitted with an operator restraining system (for example a seat belt). For older trucks which do not have one, you should fit a restraining system if the risk assessment indicates that there is a risk of the vehicle overturning and where the operator may be trapped between the truck and the ground. Where restraining systems are fitted, they should be used.

Appoint Lighthouse As Your Health & Safety Competent Person

The competent person role does not have to be fulfilled internally within every company. You can, therefore, outsource the appointment to a contractor or consultancy with the necessary qualifications and experience.

Find out more

Get a free consultation

    Leave your details and we’ll call you back.

    Related blog posts