Buxton food packaging firm has been fined after an employee suffered severe injuries to his leg when he was involved in a forklift truck crash. They were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after an investigation found that they did not have a safe system of work in place at its factory.
Michael Booth broke his right leg in three places and was hospitalized for six days where he had metal bars and pins inserted. The incident took place on 20 November 2012 and the High Peak Magistrates’ Court in Buxton heard that he had just given some cleaning materials to a colleague who was working on a machine. He then stepped backwards to turn around when he was hit by a forklift truck which was carrying a large reel of printed film.
Health and Safety breaches
The factory in Staden Park should have had a separate walkway in order to keep pedestrians away from any vehicles, or the company should have found another way of moving goods around the factory without using forklift trucks.
The firm pleaded guilty to breaching the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) regulations 1992 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and were fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £2,979 in prosecution costs.
The firm made immediate changes to the factory and following the incident began to use pallet trucks instead of forklift trucks which are much safer as they are operated by someone walking behind them and they run at a much lower speed.
The Health and Safety Executive Inspector Stuart Parry said “Michael suffered injuries which have had a significant impact on his life because the factory where he was working wasn’t safe”.
He went on to say that “Forklift trucks are responsible for around a quarter of all injuries involving workplace transport and so it’s vital companies have systems in place to keep them away from pedestrians. This can be as simple as painting a white line on the floor”.
Date Published: August 14, 2014
Author: David Brown