H&S News

IN COURT

Forklift safety: Agency worker was run over by forklift truck

A courier service company has been fined after an agency worker was hit and run over by a forklift truck.

forkliftThe employee at Alternative Parcel Company (APC) Overnight Ltd suffered serious injuries to both legs after he was hit and run over by a forklift truck which was operating in the same area.

The HSE’s investigation into the incident on 28 November 2015 found the company failed to ensure agency workers had been suitably inducted before being allowed to work in an area where forklift trucks were operating. The investigation also found the company had failed to explain the measures designed to keep pedestrians and fork lift trucks separated to its workers. There was no control of the keys for the fork lift trucks on the day shift, where they were permitted inside the sortation hub, even though they were banned from the inside of the building on the night shift.

APC Overnight Ltd of Sortation Hub, Blakeney Way, Kingswood Lakeside, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £120,000 with costs of £10,500.

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Steve Shaw said “Those in control of work have a responsibility to both devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction, and training to their workers in the safe system of working. Employers must ensure agency staff have a suitable and sufficient induction so that they can work safely and be safe.

“If a suitable safe system of work and induction process had been in place prior to this particular incident, the injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

Forklift crush incident left worker severely injured

Whiterose Scaffolding (Leeds) Ltd has been sentenced after a worker was crushed by a forklift truck.

An employee of the scaffolding company was using a forklift truck in the yard when the vehicle overturned, trapping him underneath it for some time. The employee sustained serious life changing internal injuries. He now lives with constant chronic pain and has severe mobility issues.

The HSE’s investigation found that the company had failed to provide training to their employees on the safe operations of forklift trucks, which would have included the importance of wearing seat belts. The company also failed to provide adequate supervision and monitoring of the forklift truck operators to ensure they were only operated by trained drivers and that safe driving techniques were followed.

Whiterose Scaffolding (Leeds) Ltd of Holbeck Lane, Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £54,270 with £8,000 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Andrea Jones commented: “The employee’s injuries were life changing and could have been fatal. The impact has been devastating on him and his family.  Other employees were put at risk as a result of the company allowing fork lift trucks to be used without the appropriate training and monitoring of drivers.

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working”.

 

Latest Forklift Truck Accidents

Scaffolder ‘crushed by fork lift truck’

A man died as a result of becoming crushed by a fork lift truck with a “dodgy” handbrake that rolled forward, an inquest has heard.

Scaffolder Shaun Flynn, 36, of Rothwell, was fatally injured at premises of his Northampton-based employer Boss Scaffolding on 20 June 2016, and died five days later.

A jury at Northampton Coroner’s Court heard he had been using the fork lift truck before he became trapped.

He had head, neck and brain injuries.

Assistant coroner Jacqueline Devonish said Mr Flynn, who lived on New Street, had left the vehicle to make some checks when it rolled forward.

He became trapped between the fork lift and a lorry, causing severe injuries which affected his brain stem.

Mr Flynn was transferred by air ambulance to University Hospital Coventry.

‘Evolution of injuries’

Giving evidence at the inquest, the victim’s mother Janice Flynn, described her son as a “gentle giant, joker and a hard worker”.

On the day on the accident, she said Mr Flynn was able to communicate when family members arrived at the hospital at about 11:30 BST.

She said he had been in “good spirits” despite his pain and told her he was sorry for taking a “risk” by using the fork lift truck, which he said had a “dodgy” handbrake “that hadn’t worked for weeks”.

After the family returned home that day, he had a heart attack and was placed in an induced coma before his death on 25 June.

Mr Muhammad Siddique, consultant neurologist, said he agreed with a post-mortem examination which concluded he had suffered a hypoxic anoxic brain injury.

The doctor said it was likely Mr Flynn had suffered a heart attack as a “natural evolution” of his injuries because the brain stem helps control breathing and heart rate.