A farm manager was killed when he was hit by a forklift truck as he walked across a farmyard, a court has heard.
The farming business he worked for was fined £165,000 and ordered to pay costs of £39,500 after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety laws.
Lincoln Crown Court heard that 58-year-old Peter Barney was walking across the yard from his car to a potato grading shed at Middle Farm in Moulton Seas End near Spalding when he was hit by a forklift, driven by a farm employee, in October 2010.
Mr Barney, of Weston in Lincolnshire, who had been working for Lincolnshire Field Products Ltd for 38 years, died at the scene after being crushed by the forklift, the court heard.
The firm, of Wool Hall Farm, Wykeham, Spalding, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found it did not have effective measures in place to enable vehicles and pedestrians to move safely around the site.
The court heard that the firm had not fully implemented the findings of a 2003 risk assessment which had highlighted the need for vehicles and pedestrians to be segregated.
The HSE said workers were allowed to park in areas of the site that meant they had to walk across the path of workplace vehicles to get to and from their cars, making an accident at work more likely.
‘Safety procedure not in place’
Following the court case HSE inspector Neil Ward said Mr Barney would still be alive today had the firm taken effective steps to keep employees safe.
He added: “Employees on foot were using the same doorway as the forklift truck, which meant there was a significant risk of them being struck.
“The company should have managed the yard so that people and vehicles were not sharing the same space. Sadly, Mr Barney lost his life because this simple procedure wasn’t in place.”
Specialists at Accident Advice Helpline can help people who’ve been injured at work claim accident compensation.
Date Published: January 7, 2014
Author: David Brown